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Blue Line Train Kills Teenager in Crosswalk

Los Angeles

The incident just south of downtown Los Angeles brings the light rail's fatality total to 61.

November 23, 2002|Kurt Streeter | Times Staff Writer

A 16-year-old girl was killed Friday when she was struck by a Blue Line train on a street just south of downtown Los Angeles.

The accident raises the death toll to 61 on the light railway since it opened in 1990. The 22-mile line connecting downtown with Long Beach has many stretches that run among cars and pedestrians on busy streets. It has the worst fatal accident rate among light-rail lines in California and is among the deadliest railways in the nation, according to Federal Transit Administration statistics.

Witnesses told police the girl was in a crosswalk when she was hit about 7:30 a.m. by a southbound train near a station platform in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard, said LAPD Sgt. Kevin Custard.

The witnesses said the girl, whose name was being withheld pending notification of her family, was crossing the street against a pedestrian red-light signal.

"She apparently was rushing across the street, even though she didn't have a signal to go," Custard said. "The train hit her and ran her over."

She was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department officials.

Full service on the Blue Line was stopped for about two hours, an MTA spokesman said.

The Blue Line carries about 62,000 riders daily, making it one of the busiest light-rail lines in the nation.

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