A hit-and-run suspect involved in a minor injury crash Thursday morning north of Vernon ran away and died trying to leap between the cars of a slow-moving freight train about 50 yards away, police said.
The 28-year-old man, whose name was withheld, was traveling north along Santa Fe Avenue just north of Washington Boulevard when his car swerved over the double yellow lines and sideswiped a van in the southbound lane waiting to turn left, police said.
"It severed the front of his car's front axle, so he swerved again into the oncoming lane," said Sgt Mike Widder. "He basically at that point had no control over his car."
The man's car hit two more vehicles before coming to a stop. He got out, looked at his car and then began walking toward the nearby railroad tracks, turning only briefly to see the other people involved in the accident following him, police said.
The man tried to dart between two cars of a 1 1/2-mile-long Union Pacific train traveling 10 mph, but he was crushed under the wheels.
No one else was seriously hurt in the 7 a.m. accident, police said.