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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Dismissals in Train Case

January 26, 1988

A Municipal Court judge Monday dismissed all but one charge against two trainmen accused of illegally blocking an intersection for two hours in an unincorporated area of southeast Los Angeles County.

Judge Lois Anderson Smaltz ruled that Southern Pacific Transportation Co. conductor William Gonsalves and dispatcher Roy McRae "did not have notice of the law" under which they were charged last September. The two were prosecuted under a section of the Public Utilities Code prohibiting trains from standing in intersections for more than 10 minutes except for mechanical problems or other emergencies.

Deputy Dist. Atty. James W. Grodin said he will appeal Smaltz's ruling to Los Angeles Superior Court.

Smaltz dismissed both misdemeanor counts against McRae and two of three counts against Gonsalves. Southern Pacific still faces one misdemeanor count of illegally blocking an intersection and Gonsalves faces one misdemeanor count of violating his duty as a conductor where human life and safety were in danger.

Trial is set for Feb. 29.

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