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Articles Posted in Train Accidents

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Four young adults ranging in age from 18 to 21 were killed in a Fresno train accident after the car in which they were traveling drove into the path of a freight train. According to a news report in The Associated Press, 20-year-old Alexandra Sanchez was the only person who survived the crash. She remains in serious condition at a local hospital. California Highway Patrol officials say the 2002 Chevy Lumina sedan was driven onto the tracks early morning on August 19, 2013.
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A 26-year-old man was killed in a Long Beach car accident after a Metro Blue Line train struck his car. According to The Press-Telegram, the fatal accident occurred the night of August 30, 2012 at Long Beach Boulevard and 19th Street. Officials say the man was driving north on Long Beach Boulevard and turned left at 19th Street despite a posted sign against turns. The car was then hit by the train. The man, who was trapped inside the vehicle, died at the scene. Four passengers in the train – three men and one woman — were injured. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Long Beach Police Department at 562-570-7355. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased train accident victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I also wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
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A police officer and two passengers on a train were injured in a Los Angeles car accident when a police cruiser crashed into a train. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the train accident occurred at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles, the evening of March 27, 2012. Officials have not released information regarding how the accident occurred. The officer had to be rescued from his police cruiser with the Jaws of Life. The officer and two people on the train sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

My thoughts and prayers are with the three injured victims of this Los Angeles train accident. I am relieved to hear that none of the victims suffered critical injuries and I wish them all the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
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Seattle residents are concerned about the traffic dangers presented by the light rail system, which will run from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac airport when it is completed in a few months. The concern increased after a Sound Transit train collided with a car on April 15, 2009 in a Rainier Valley neighborhood. According to a KOMO News report, the Seattle car crash occurred during rush hour at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South Dawson Street, sending the car’s driver to the hospital with personal injuries.

Sound Transit is testing its routes, launching educational campaigns for drivers and preparing for its grand summer opening. However, neighbors view these train crossings as dangerous. Sound Transit still has not installed special barriers, no-turn signs or crossing arms at these crossings, which is understandably worrisome to many. In fact, there are no crossing arms at the 29 intersections where Sound Transit goes street level through Rainier Valley. Drivers only get bells, whistles and warning lights when a train is approaching. It is also a dangerous situation for pedestrians, especially young children who are crossing the street at street-level light rail crossings. There is nothing that stops people from walking across these crossings.
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Fifteen passengers of a light-rail train suffered injuries in a Sept. 19 accident when a bus collided with the train, exactly one week after a catastrophic Metrolink train accident. The Sept. 19 crash may have been caused by the bus driver who ran a red light and crashed into the light-rail train, according to an article in the New York Times.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, who are investigating the collision, said the bus driver, who was actually a mechanic, was test-driving the nearly empty bus at the time of the accident. The mechanic had reportedly run a traffic light and struck the Metro Blue Line train carrying 250 passengers that had just pulled out of the San Pedro Station.
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Jose Alvarez, 46, of Gonzales in Monterey County was killed after he drove his 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck into the path of an Amtrak train near King City, The Monterey County Herald reports.
Alvarez reportedly drove across a railroad crossing on Metz Road and directly into the path of a northbound train. According to California Highway Patrol officials, the train was traveling at 65 mph and could not stop in time to avoid colliding with Alvarez’s truck.

None of the Amtrak passengers or crew was hurt. Alvarez suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene following the train vs. auto accident. I offer my deepest condolences to Alvarez’s family.

This report does not have too many details about why or how Alvarez drove into the path of the Amtrak train. We don’t know if the railroad crossing was equipped with gates or flashing lights or signs indicating that there is a railroad crossing ahead.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) statistics, the United States has about 150,000 public grade crossings. Of these crossings, about 35,500 have gates, 25,000 have flashing lights and 1,200 have highway traffic signals, wigwags and bells.
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