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Teen Killed by Metrolink Train

Los Angeles

February 06, 2003|Hector Becerra | Times Staff Writer

A 15-year-old boy carrying a suicide note in his backpack was killed Wednesday morning in Covina when he stood in the path of a Metrolink train, authorities said.

Train number 311 was traveling to Los Angeles from San Bernardino at 53 mph when it struck the boy, a student at Charter Oak High School, said Covina police Sgt. John Zumwalt. Witnesses said the teenager held his ground as the train approached shortly before 8 a.m.

The death was the third suicide in 10 days involving a Metrolink train, spokeswoman Sharon Gavin said.

On Jan. 27, a 52-year-oldman drove his SUV into the path of a Metrolink train in Glendale. Capt. David Campbell, a spokesman for the coroner's office, said the man had left a will and suicide note addressed to his mother.

And on Jan. 30, a 37-year-old man with a history of depression was killed when he parked his car at a City of Industry rail crossing. Investigators found a page in his car from a Web site devoted to suggesting ways to commit suicide, Campbell said.

Gavin said there's not much conductors can do once someone strays or deliberately gets in the path of a train.

"They apply the emergency brakes as soon as they can, and this is what is so hard for them, because after that, there's nothing you can do," she said. "There's no place to go, no place to swerve."

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