- February 24, 2015
LOS ANGELES – A Southern California commuter train collided with a pickup truck in a rural area of Oxnard, about 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Authorities said dozens were injured and four people were critically hurt on the Metrolink-operated rail.
The Oxnard Fire Department said the truck was left on the tracks and its driver fled the scene. Witnesses said the truck immediately burst into flames, causing all four of the train’s passenger cars to derail. Police later found the truck driver and took him into custody.
According to Ventura County Medical Services, 28 passengers were transported to area hospitals with mild to severe injuries including “significant head trauma,” neck and back injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates 30 train occupants received some treatment and no one was killed.
The NTSB confirmed also it will investigate the crash.
“Safety must be every railroad’s absolute top priority,” the administration said in a statement. “We will establish what lapses, if any, occurred and order any necessary corrective actions.”
The NTSB has not yet determined how fast the train was moving at the time of the crash.
In 2008, a Metrolink commuter train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train, killing 25 people. Los Angeles train crash attorneys filed several lawsuits against Metrolink later that year. In total, claims are expected to exceed a $200 million liability cap.
Since that incident, Metrolink installed a new safety program; using GPS and computer systems to stop a train and avoid an accident.
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