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Driver Trapped on Tracks Is Killed by Train

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, authorities said.

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

None of the 18 passengers aboard the train or its crew members were injured, authorities said.

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

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“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,” Farrar said.

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

The Metrolink train was traveling from San Bernardino to Los Angeles. After the collision, passengers were bused to the Fontana station where they boarded another L.A.-bound train, said Metrolink spokeswoman Sharon Gavin.

The portion of the track near the Rialto station remained closed for hours Wednesday as authorities investigated the incident.

Afternoon Metrolink commuters from Los Angeles to San Bernardino disembarked at the Fontana station and were bused to San Bernardino, Gavin said.

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Times staff writer Janet Wilson contributed to this report.


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