The man was struck by a northbound three-car trolley on the tracks between L and J streets around 11:45 p.m. Thursday, according to Chula Vista police Lt. Eric Thunberg.
The trolley operator told investigators he slowed down and blew his horn as he watched the man climb up an embankment and onto the trolley tracks and then stand with his back to the train, Thunberg said.
The man was thrown forward upon impact and ultimately ended up underneath the front of the trolley but was not run over, he said, adding he was believed to have died from the trauma of the initial strike.
The man’s identity was not immediately known. He was believed to be in his 50s or 60s.
Trolley service was unaffected this morning.