YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Driver Flees as Train Hits Truck Stalled on Tracks


A packed commuter train slammed into a stalled pickup truck in Montclair Monday night, dragging it about 100 yards before the truck caught fire.

Leon Thoms, 36, of Pomona said he was driving his pickup south on Ramona Avenue when he went through a deep puddle and stalled on the Metrolink tracks about 6:55 p.m.

As a passerby tried to push the truck off the tracks, the headlights of the eastbound train appeared in the distance.

"I just thought, 'Get outta that truck,' " Thoms said.

Thoms and the passerby ran and were about 25 yards away when the train hit it.

About 150 people were aboard the train, Montclair Police Officer Harry Tooley said. One suffered a bump on the head, but no one else was injured, he said.

The truck bed landed in a ditch on the north side of the tracks, and the cab was dragged about 100 yards and ended up pinned under the engine.

Metrolink conductor Andy Lucas said the undercarriage of the truck was on fire just after the crash, but he put it out with a fire extinguisher.

The passengers were stuck on the train for about two hours before it continued on its way.

It was the third Metrolink train accident on area tracks since the beginning of the year. On Jan. 23, a Metrolink train hit an empty bus on San Dimas Avenue. The train's engineer was treated for head and neck injuries.

On Jan. 25, a woman lost consciousness in her car on tracks near Fairplex Drive in La Verne as a train approached. Onlookers pulled her to safety.

Los Angeles Times Articles