RENO, Nev. (AP) — The parents of a 22-year-old Amtrak passenger who was found critically injured near the train tracks in Truckee, California are disputing Amtrak’s conclusion that he likely had tried to kill himself.
Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman told reporters earlier this week that Aaron Salazar’s injuries appeared to be the result of an attempted suicide.
Salazar was traveling May 15 from Denver to Oregon on the California Zephyr. He was found several hours after the train passed through Truckee.
His parents, Damion Salazar and Angie Barnett, said in a statement Wednesday they’re convinced Amtrak is engaged in a “smear campaign” intended to avoid any liability.
They believe their gay son who has been hospitalized for two weeks was the victim of a hate crime. They say his injuries were consistent with a beating, not a jump from a moving train.