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Pedestrian Is Killed by Train

September 02, 2004|Zeke Minaya | Times Staff Writer

A 46-year-old woman pushing a cart of empty bottles and cans was struck and killed Wednesday by a Long Beach-bound Blue Line train, authorities said.

The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. as the train approached the Florence station on Graham Avenue, said Jose Ubaldo, a spokesman for the MTA.

All the warning systems indicating an approaching train -- including blowing whistles and flashing lights -- were working, Ubaldo said.

With a rush-hour crowd gathering at the station, the woman joined a group of people, including her companion, in racing across the tracks in front of the oncoming train, Ubaldo said.

She was struck near the entrance of the platform and died at the scene, Ubaldo said.

"She almost made it," Ubaldo said.

Authorities did not release the name of the victim, a transient, pending notification of relatives.

The MTA and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have opened investigations.

Service to the station was halted for 30 to 45 minutes, Ubaldo said.

The 22-mile Blue Line runs from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles.

Including Wednesday's fatality, more than 22 occupants of vehicles and more than 40 pedestrians have been killed along the Blue Line since it began operating in 1990, making it the deadliest of the MTA's four rail routes.

The commuter trains sometimes move at up to 55 mph.

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