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Local News in Brief : Train Hits Truck, Kills Driver, Injures Woman

February 21, 1988

Aman was killed and a woman critically injured Saturday when he drove their pickup truck around the gate at a San Fernando railroad crossing and into the path of a freight train, authorities said.

San Fernando Police Sgt. Michael Harvey said Gonzalo A. Velasquez, 33, of Sylmar had driven up behind another car that was stopped at the Southern Pacific railroad crossing on Maclay Avenue shortly after 6 a.m. The crossing arms were down and the lights signaling the approaching train were flashing, he said.

Velasquez abruptly backed up, drove around the waiting car and between the crossing arms, Harvey said. The truck was broadsided by the train, which was traveling north about 50 m.p.h., he said.

The truck was thrown 75 feet, and Velasquez and his passenger, Rosa A. Zambrano, 33, also of Sylmar, were ejected, Harvey said.

Velasquez died at the scene, Harvey said. Zambrano was listed in critical condition at Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, he said.

The train's engineer told police that he did not see the truck until after the collision.

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