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Recent Orange County Train Incidents

November 04, 1990|ELENA BRUNET / Los Angeles Times

1990 April 5: Juan Carlos Martinez, 18, had to have his legs amputated after he slipped on the tracks and fell under a train traveling along a sharp curve behind the Capistrano Beach business district. The train was returning to San Diego from Barstow. April 28. Larry Charles Peterson, 43, of Buena Park was struck and killed by a Santa Fe Railroadfreight train in the 1800 block of West Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton after he refused to heed a train conductor's warning to get off the tracks where he had been seated. Sept. 25. A nine-car Southern Pacific freight train carrying thousands of rounds of live artillery shells jumped the track at the Hoover Street crossing in Westminster, about 2 miles from Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. Railroad officials suspect vandalism. 1989 Jan. 19. Santa Fe Railroad worker Joe Otero pulled Lorraine Ruiz, 26, of Buena Park and five children from a car stranded on a railroad crossing seconds before a passenger train struck it. The car was on Dale Street off Artesia Boulevard in Buena Park. Jan. 21. Laura and Javier Nunez of Anaheim were injured when their car was hit by a train on State College Boulevard just north of Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton. Their car had been thrust into the railroad crossing after being rear-ended by another vehicle. April 4. Three railroad workers were injured near La Palma Avenue and Weir Canyon Road in Yorba Linda when they leaped off an eastbound freight train traveling at an estimated 45 m.p.h. moments before it crashed into the side of a westbound train carrying cars and trucks. In an unrelated incident, a Santa Fe freight train traveling north in Fullerton smashed head-on into a truck rigged to run on the rails. Two Santa Fe contract workers spraying herbicides and insecticides were able to leap to safety as their truck burst into flames on impact. April 27: Jose Gonzalez de Anda Jr., 48, was rushing across the tracks in the 1700 block of East Orangethorpe Avenue in Placentia when he was hit by a Santa Fe freight train. De Anda was critically injured. May 31. Guadalupe Palma, 27, of Garden Grove was injured when the pickup truck he was driving was hit broadside by a northbound Amtrak passenger train at 400 W. Walnut St. in Orange. Palma had driven past six stopped cars and around the lowered crossing gates. June 28. Guadalupe Magadalena, 21, suffered minor injuries when she was struck by a northbound train as she was walking along on the pedestrian passage way near the tracks approaching the Fullerton Amtrak station. Oct. 17. Mary A. Shaw, 47, of Irvine was killed when a northbound Amtrak passenger train traveling at 70 m.p.h. hit her car on Culver Avenue in Irvine. The car had been stuck on the tracks during heavy morning commuter traffic. 1988 March 30. James Boyle, 10, of Orange was killed as he and three other boys, two of whom were his brothers, tried to outrun a southbound Amtrak train on a railroad trestle in Santa Ana near Santiago Park. April 16. Bryan George Tully, a 31-year-old transient, was killed when a southbound Amtrak train hit him as he walked on tracks on Oso Road near Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. Aug. 15. Transient Harley Edward Duggan, 50, had been lying on the tracks at Las Vegas Avenue east of San Juan Creek and north of Coast Highway at Capistrano Beach when he was struck by a northbound Santa Fe locomotive traveling between 40 and 50 m.p.h. The head injury that caused his death may have occurred before he was hit by the train. Sept. 22. Jose Guerrero, 21, of Santa Ana had his legs severed when he tried to jump off a freight train near 1400 S. Village Way in Santa Ana. Nov. 6. A man in his mid-20s was killed when an Amtraktrain hit him about half a mile east of Red Hill Avenue, Tustin. The man had failed to move out of the train's path although he had been warned several times by the train's horn. Determined a suicide by the coroner's office. Dec. 9. Transient Ruben S. Martinez, 31, had apparently been asleep on railroad tracks at 500 S. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana when he was struck and killed by an Amtrak passenger train. Note: Coroner's report lists only three of the 1988 incidents mentioned above under the category of accidental deaths caused by being struck by a train. Another of these deaths has been called a suicide.

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