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Fatal Metrolink accident in Santa Ana shuts tracks

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Metrolink train fatally strikes person in Santa Ana
Fatal Metrolink accident in Santa Ana delays trains throughout the area

A Metrolink train fatally struck a person in Santa Ana about 5:45 p.m., leading to the temporary closure of both tracks at the Grand Avenue crossing and affecting service of several trains in the area, a transit agency spokesman said.

The victim was described a middle-aged man who was in a wheelchair, police said Monday night.

"Witnesses said the [crossing] arms were down and he tried to get across the tracks and the train hit him," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said.

He said no other details were available and that police were planning to continue thier investigation on Tuesday.

There were 330 passengers aboard the train that hit the person, which was en route to San Bernardino on the Inland Empire-Orange County line, Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said.

“We’re hoping that one of the two tracks may be released so we can run trains at reduced speed,” Lustgarten said, but he had no estimate as to when that might happen. Meanwhile, he said, buses are heading to Laguna Niguel and Santa Ana to transport passengers who would otherwise be stuck. Metrolink is posting service updates on its Twitter account.

Metrolink trains are not the only ones affected by the track closure: A passenger on an Amtrak train from Los Angeles to San Diego said about 7 p.m. that his train had been stopped for about 30 minutes and that a conductor had warned passengers such cases sometimes take hours to clear up.

Santa Ana police could not be reached for comment.

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

10:29 p.m.: This story was updated to report that the victim was in a wheelchair.

7:32 p.m.: This story has been updated to add details about Amtrak service and about buses for Metrolink passengers.

This story was originally posted at 7:03 p.m.

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