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Man dies of apparent drug overdose on BART train in downtown San Francisco

A BART train stops at Embarcadero BART Station in San Francisco. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

A man died Monday night after an apparent overdose on board a BART train, according to BART police.

At 9:32 p.m., police said fare inspectors found an unresponsive man aboard an Antioch-bound train at Embarcadero Station in Downtown San Francisco. An inspector used Narcan to try and revive the man, who appeared to be suffering from a drug overdose.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene after San Francisco Fire Department paramedics tried to save his life. There is no suspicion of foul play, BART police said.

Delays of 20 minutes were reported on the San Francisco line toward Antioch due to the medical emergency at the station on Monday night.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner identified him Tuesday as Antoine Wagner, 40, of no fixed address.

A BART passenger smokes crystal methamphetamine while riding the train through San Francisco on Feb. 23, 2023. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

Seven people died on the BART system in the first three months of the year, according to data obtained from a public records request. Nearly all were due to suspected overdoses. Overdose deaths are on track to surge this year on BART.

BART is not the only transit system dealing with the twin crises of homelessness and drug addiction, but it stands apart in its struggle to get ridership back to pre-pandemic levels. Concerns around safety on the trains are front of mind for potential BART passengers, according to a survey of riders.

Official BART policy dictates that when a BART employee encounters someone suffering from an apparent overdose, they are required to summon responders through its dispatch system and provide medical aid, which can include administering the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, often known as Narcan. 

Overdose deaths on BART are generally categorized as “unattended deaths,” defined as a situation where a physician is not present to sign a death certificate. 

Unattended deaths on BART property have gradually ticked up over the past few years, in line with the growing severity of the fentanyl crisis. 

Last year’s 19 deaths are almost double the 11 unattended deaths on BART in 2021, a slight increase from the 10 people found dead on the system in 2020. In 2019, BART reported 12 such deaths.

George Kelly can be reached at