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Driver Trapped on Tracks Is Killed by Train in Rialto

May 22, 2003|Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles-bound Metrolink commuter train collided with a car stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing in Rialto on Wednesday, killing the driver and disrupting train traffic throughout the afternoon.

The train hit the car about 2:15 p.m., pushing it more than 400 feet. The mangled car came to rest on the platform of the Rialto Metrolink station, said Lt. Tony Farrar of the Rialto Police Department.

The unidentified driver in her 30s apparently was caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Riverside Avenue crossing when the railroad warning lights flashed and the gates lowered, Farrar said.

"For one reason or another, traffic began to back up and stop, and she ended up stopped on the tracks. The gates went down ... around her and the train broadsided her on the passenger side," he said.

Police said there was no evidence she tried to get out and flee, but it also was unclear whether she knew the train was coming or had time to escape.

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