Woman struck and killed by Caltrain was beloved educator, therapist from San Jose

A woman fatally struck by a train on Monday along the Caltrain tracks in Sunnyvale has been identified by the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office as an educator and therapist.

A northbound Caltrain on Monday struck and killed 32-year-old San Jose resident Michelle Tjhia just north of the Sunnyvale station around 6 a.m. Monday.

Tjhia, who worked as a speech-language pathologist at Ardenwood Elementary School in Fremont, is remembered as "a great therapist" by Ric Outman, owner of California Therapy Connection and Tjhia's employer that contracts with the school.

Outman said Tjhia worked at his therapy company for about a year-and-a-half, helping youths with learning disabilities to better articulate speech and language.

"I'm at a loss for words right now," Outman said Thursday. "She was a great person and I'm just shocked."

Many of those she helped had autism and needed help with their words and communication, he said, adding that he had not heard the news of her death and wondered why he had not been able to reach her.

"She loved her work, she loved her kids and loved the staff that she worked with," Outman said. "She's a wonderful person, I'm going to miss her."