Woman killed by train after saving man

Victim ran from dad's car to offer help on crossing


A woman was struck and killed by a train Tuesday after rushing onto a Yokohama railroad crossing and moving to safety a 74-year-old man she saw lying on the tracks, police said.

Natsue Murata, 40, a company employee from Yokohama, was in a car with her father waiting at the crossing when they saw the man lying on the tracks at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

As soon as she saw the man, she rushed out from the front passenger seat and tried to save him, the police said.

“I have to save him,” she cried out, according to her father, Shigehiro Murata, 67. “I said don’t go. There isn’t enough time,” he later told reporters.

She managed to move the man but couldn’t avoid the oncoming train, the police said.

A passerby pushed the emergency button and the train’s driver braked hard, but couldn’t stop the train in time, according to the police.

The man was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a broken collarbone. The police said they planned to question him.

Murata and her father were returning to their workplace, a real estate firm he manages. The incident occurred at a crossing between Kamoi and Nakayama stations on the JR Yokohama Line.

The train was bound for Hashimoto from Higashi-Kanagawa.

“Although you died, the man’s life was saved. I can only say that,” Shigehiro Murata said of his daughter.

On Wednesday, many people offered flowers and prayed for Murata at the accident site.

A 68-year-old man who lives nearby said he felt very sorry for her father.

“I don’t know what to say, thinking about the father’s feelings. He saw his daughter killed in front of him,” the man said.

  • Tory Gates

    There goes a heroic lady. I give her family my sympathy and respect.

  • Glen Douglas Brügge

    A person to be admired.

  • George Gray Jr

    God Bless her and may she find peace. My condolences to the father. He raised a fine lady.

  • Richard Henderson

    A true act of courage when you give your life to save another. My condolences to her family from us here in Australia.


    This story is very sad, but also shows that random acts of kindness still exist.
    My condolences to her family…

  • Thaddeus Stone

    I hope the man she saved goes on to make something of his life…oh wait, he’s 74.

    • Charlie Sommers

      You should be ashamed to have made such a shallow comment. Many men throughout history have made great contributions to society after the age of 74.

      After having wept for this brave woman I was disgusted by what you said.

      • IzizI

        “Many men throughout history have made great contributions to society after the age of 74.”

        Such as…?

      • Charlie Sommers

        Nelsom Mandella was elected president of South Africa at the age of 76.

        Peter Mark Roget compiled his famous Thesaurus at the age of 73 (one year short of 74) but continued to oversee all the updates until he was 90.

        Grandma Moses took up painting at the age of 76 and still managed to leave quite a legacy.

        Benjamin Franklin was a little younger than our target age of 74 but he was the oldest man to sign the Declaration of Independence at 70 years of age.

        Winston Churchill didn’t resign the post of Prime Minister until he was 80 years old.

        Plato was still going strong at 74 and was still laying the foundation of western philosophy until his death at the age of 80.

        I could go on and on with this list, many elderly people have made great contributions to civilization.

      • robertwgordonesq

        Good comeback, but how many of them were found lying on railroad tracks?

        I think the point Thaddeus Stone was making is that it is premature to assign praise (or blame) until you get all the facts.

        Giving your life for another is not an inherently noble act.

        I don’t think the woman thought “I will give my life to save his” when she stepped out of the car. I would think rather she would have preferred to live.

        What if the man on the tracks had committed some horrible crime and was trying to commit suicide to escape justice?

        We don’t know.

        What if the woman had a hero-complex and tried to save the man out of a selfish desire for personal glory?

        I know that sounds bad, but in reality we don’t know.

        Or what if this woman was to go on an create a substance that can scrub nuclear radiation contamination from the ground, water, and air?

        We just don’t know.

        Therefore Thaddeus’ Utilitarian comment is just as valid (or just as condemnable or disgusting) as heaping praise when we really don’t know all the facts.

        Personally I think it is better to live one’s life for the sake of others rather than to sacrifice it.

      • Rand Noel

        apparently you have no regard for human life. Trying to get philosophical doesn’t change the facts. Next thing you’ll be thinking is maybe the woman had to die because she would have become an evil person if she had lived. get a life, I mean a real life and not a judgmental attitude with your armchair thinking. Reacting in an emergency is a whole different set of rules. people don’t think about the philosophical implications during emergency acts of spontaneity, they act from their heart not their brain.

      • robertwgordonesq

        Huh? What are you basing your assumption that I have “no regard for human life”? Are you saying it is *impossible*, *absolutely impossible* for that woman to have acted out of a self-centered motivation? Unless I’m making a mistake and you meant to respond to someone else. Are you responding to my post? robertwgordon’s post? If so, did you understand the point I was trying to make? If you were not responding to my post…whose post were you responding to? If to me, then I will give you a proper reply. I’ll wait for your answer.

      • leaf

        I agree with Rand Noel. Your judgmental and overly philosophical attitude is disturbing. Your comment basically says, if a person sees another person trying to end his life, you should think, “Ah, I guess he has his reasons” or “I respect this man’s decision so I’m going to watch him die”. This woman’s feelings (“I have to save him”) when seeing this man were instinctive. And she also had the courage to act on them. She didn’t have time to weigh out the risks or what was best for the man, her, her family from all possible angles like we do now after everything has happened. She went for the best possible solution at the time-save the man and save herself-risking her life in the process without a second thought. Actions like this stem from the goodness of the heart and pure selfless courage and in my eyes, this woman deserves nothing but praise.

      • robertwgordonesq

        I guess you didn’t get it.

        You are certainly free to interpret my comments any way you like. However, both you and Mr. Noel are making the same mistake…twice over.

        I’m not judging the woman’s actions. Just the opposite.

        I am saying we do not know what motivated this woman to do what she did. Therefore we *can’t* judge her…neither good nor bad.

        You can praise her or you can blame her. However, unless you were in her head or interviewed her, you have no way of knowing what really motivated her.

        Thus heaping praise on her, is simply superimposing your own “judgements” based on what I consider insufficient evidence.

        If you want to do that….fine.

        Anyone blaming her is doing exactly the same thing. Making judgments based on insufficient evidence.

        If you want to do *that*…fine as well.

        What I said could not and should not be done is to call another person’s opinion “shameful”, “shallow” or “disturbing” because such so-called “shameful” opinions are just as valid as opinions heaping praise…they are both opinions based on really no evidence.

        You may call my attitude “overly philosophical”…that’s perfectly alright, but I think many people simply don’t think deeply enough…and hence the reason why the world has problems.

        However, your opinion is well taken.

        Thanks for sharing.

      • Rand Noel

        Does one have to make a contribution that is great to be allowed to live? what the heck kind of thinking is that? 99.9% of the people who have ever lived never accomplished anything great at any age. It’s about Human beings living and loving life to the point they are willing to sacrfice their own to save another.

  • chiefzusaf

    Now this was a truly heroic act…very sad but heroic indeed. May she rest in peace. Condolences to her family.

  • EQ

    A heroic young lady. Sincere condolences to her family. I saw the report on TV. She was on the other side of the railroad track so she had to cross two tracks to get to the person. It seems no one on the side closer to the person helped. In a country as densely populated as Japan and at the time the accident happened, I cannot imagine not having people on both side of a railroad cross waiting. Perhaps, at that time, there was nobody on the closer side waiting to cross. I hope that this is the case because how horrible it would be if there had been people on the closer side who just watched and did nothing to help…

  • KaiHarate

    The whole world is reading about this story online. The pain for her family must be great but over time they can be proud of her exceptional bravery. To give your life (intentionally or not) so that someone else will live is the ultimate act of love one can show. Peace be with her and family.

  • Was it a young, healthy woman dying to save a mentally ill and/or suicidal old man? Not a good exchange IMHO.

  • Jack

    No greater honor as to give up ones life for anothers.

  • Maurizio Monte

    R.I.P Natsue. Her family is going through a horrible time

  • Vasu Seshadri

    A sad ending reveals how short life is when altruistic endeavors are bestowed upon another human being. She truly is a hero not only for her deeds but her selfless act of risking her life to help an unknown person. God bless the families.

  • Caleb Evan Parsons

    Saving people is awesome and all and I would do it, even knowing I’d die, for my family in a heartbeat. But this guy was 74 and for all we know, he could have been piss drunk. Does this 40 yr old woman have children? If so, I’d say her act was selfish.

  • Why would she assume that he wanted to end his own life?
    My first thought if I saw someone fallen on the tracks would be that they had collapsed or stumbled and hurt themselves.