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2 Injured When Car Hits Train

Car Driver and Passenger Injured in Crash With Train

November 24, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

A 21-year-old driver and her passenger were injured Saturday when she drove through a lowered railroad crossing barrier and into the path of a Metro Blue Line train in Long Beach, police said.

It was the second serious incident in as many days involving a Blue Line train.

Three people on board the train, including the operator, received minor injuries in the 6:30 a.m. incident.

Police identified the driver as Elena Taofi of Long Beach. She was reported in fair condition Saturday night at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Her passenger, Faamu Lufi Sao, also of Long Beach, was in fair condition at the same hospital, where he was being treated for severe head injuries and a broken pelvis.

Long Beach officers investigating the incident said Taofi was driving a 1997 Nissan Altima west on Wardlow Road when she smashed through the lowered railroad crossing arm at Pacific Avenue, breaking it off its base.

A southbound train entering the crossing struck the car.

Train operator Rosie Haynes, 51, was treated at a local hospital clinic for a shoulder injury.

Two of the roughly 50 train passengers also sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene, police said.

Just one day before, a 16-year-old girl was struck and killed by a Blue Line train south of downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office on Saturday identified her as Angela Barahona of Los Angeles.

Witnesses told Los Angeles police that the girl was walking across the street against a red light when she was hit by a southbound train on East Washington Boulevard.

She died at the scene.

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