OAKLAND -- A man hit and killed by freight train Monday morning in North Berkeley has been identified as a 28-year-old man who may have been living in a nearby homeless encampment, according to a spokesman for the Alameda County Coroner's office.

The man was identified as Matthew Finch, who was either homeless or living in El Cerrito, the coroner's spokesman said. There was evidence that showed the man may have been sleeping in the area.

A southbound Union Pacific train struck the man at 9:06 a.m. north of Gilman Street, near the Berkeley-Albany border, said Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb. Finch had been walking south on the tracks when he was hit by the train, which was heading from Roseville to Oakland, a Union Pacific spokesman said.

No one else was injured.

The train's engineer sounded the horn and attempted to bring the train to a stop, but freight trains typically take more than one mile to stop, authorities said. The coroner is still trying to determine if the death was a suicide or an accident.

Contact Kristin J. Bender at kbender@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/kjbender.



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