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Man killed in train collision

35-year-old man dies after being hit while allegedly sitting on tracks near Via Princessa Metrolink

Posted: August 7, 2010 6:02 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2010 8:55 p.m.

California Highway Patrol officers take measurements near the train tracks underneath Highway 14, where a man was hit and killed Saturday afternoon by a Metrolink train that was heading to Lancaster. The collision took place a few hundred feet from the Via Princessa Metrolink station.


A Metrolink train struck and killed a man who was sitting on train tracks under the Highway 14 overpass north of Via Princessa, authorities said Saturday.

A 35-year-old Hispanic man was sitting underneath the freeway overpass at 1:45 p.m. when he was struck and killed by the train, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The report said the man’s name has not been released pending notification of his next of kin.

The fatality is still being investigated, and authorities don’t yet know why the man was sitting on the railroad tracks.

The man was hit a few hundred feet east of the Via Princessa Metrolink station. As CHP officers measured the 300-yard distance from the body to the train with yellow measuring tape at about 2 p.m., the deceased lay underneath the freeway overpass. The body was sprawled a few feet from the train tracks, and a leg jutted out from under the sheet.

The train, which was heading to Lancaster, was stopped for about an hour and a half as CHP officers investigated how the man wound up on the tracks. None of the 164 passengers or crew on the train were injured, said Angie Starr, a Metrolink spokeswoman. The 263 Antelope Valley Line train left Lancaster at about 1 p.m., she said. Another train heading south on the opposite side of the tracks was also stopped for more than an hour, Starr said.

A Metrolink official delivered snacks and water to the passengers on the trains because they weren’t allowed to leave the train, she said.

In March 2009, a man was run over by a Metrolink train near Oak Springs Canyon Road. The man, who is believed to have committed suicide, was lying down on the tracks when he was struck, according to past reports.

Starr said a Metrolink train struck and killed a Riverside woman who was walking along the train tracks earlier this month.
California had 111 train-related fatalities in 2009, according to data from Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit that collects train-collision data. Nationally, California trails only Texas, which had 177 train-related fatalities in 2009.

“It’s actually against the law to be on or anywhere near (train) tracks,” Starr said. “We try to educate people on how absolutely dangerous it is.”



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