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Part of new Gold Line extension closed after big rig crash damages wires

Part of new Gold Line extension closed after big rig crash damages wires
Fire from abig-rig crash early Sunday morning forced the closure of a section of the Gold Line, authorities said. (Pasadena Fire Department)

A section of the new San Gabriel Valley extension of the Gold Line was shut down Sunday, less than a day after opening, when a big rig crashed and sent wreckage into the middle of the train tracks, authorities said.

Ongoing repairs could frustrate and delay Monday morning commuters.

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The big rig driver lost control of a truck about 3 a.m. and hit the center median on the 210 Freeway near San Gabriel Boulevard, said Officer Francisco Villalobos of the California Highway Patrol.

The truck ignited and some of the wreckage from the crash landed on the center divider, where the Gold Line's tracks are located, Villalobos said. The driver suffered minor injuries and was sent to the hospital, Villalobos said.

The heat from the fire damaged the wires hanging above the tracks as well as insulators on the track, which have been replaced, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The crash occurred in a section of the Gold Line in Pasadena that opened in 2003. However, the rail service was closed between the Allen and Arcadia stations, covering part of an 11.5-mile Gold Line extension that opened Saturday with much fanfare.

Crews were working late Sunday to repair the overhead electrical wires for the Monday morning commute, but no definite timetable was given for when the repairs would be completed.

Metro said bus shuttles were running to the Allen, Sierra Madre Villa and Arcadia stations. Bus service is expected to continue until repairs are completed, Metro said.

Trains are running as usual in other sections of the Gold Line, from downtown Los Angeles to Allen station in Pasadena, and from Azusa Pacific University at the eastern terminus to the Arcadia station.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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