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Pleasanton Man Died a Hero Trying to Save Suicidal Man

Philip Scholz, 35, was killed by an express train traveling up to 70 mph at the Santa Clara Caltrain station last week.

Philip Scholz died last Monday trying to save a stranger. (Photo: LinkedIn)
Philip Scholz died last Monday trying to save a stranger. (Photo: LinkedIn)

By Bea Karnes 

When Pleasanton resident Philip Scholz, 35, saw a suicidal man on Caltrain tracks in Santa Clara last Monday, he did everything he could to save him. He lost his life trying.

[Related article: Pleasanton Man Dies After Being Struck by Caltrain]

The second man was also hit by the train, but survived. He was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. His identity has not been released.

Scholz's wife, friends and coworkers aren’t surprised that he died a hero—they say he wasn’t someone who could stand by idly when someone was in need, even a stranger.

His widow, Emily, told NBC Bay Area, "He saw someone in danger and did what he could, or what he thought he could, to assist.” Emily and Phil were married for 7 years. They met in college.

Scholz was a graduate of Santa Clara University. He joined Nvidia in 2001, rising through the ranks to Senior Marketing Manager.

Nvidia co-founder Chris Malachowsky was stunned by Scholz’s death. He told the San Jose Mercury News, "I'm sure his knee-jerk, no hesitation to help someone else is what caused this -- he goes down as a hero in my book."

Friends remember Scholz as competitive, fun, and a guy who’d do anything for you.

Services for Scholz will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St., Pleasanton at 10 a.m. on Feb. 10. You may sign a guestbook for his family on Legacy.com.


A Reader January 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM
I hope that person who attempted suicide, and caused the death of this good man, lives a long and painful life knowing what he did. His selfish behavior is responsible for the death of a wonderful human being. Suicide is the ultimate selfish act.
Willis January 28, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Well put.
D. January 28, 2014 at 01:35 PM
I disagree with the act of wishing a long and painful life on the man whose life Philip saved. I would hope that Philip Scholz did not die in vain and that the man he saved can turn his life around and pay it forward tenfold.

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