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Police: Motorist killed by Metrolink train was skirting crossing arms

Two Burbank police officers walk past a car hit by a train at the intersection of San Fernando Boulevard and Buena Vista Street in Burbank.
(Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

The man who was killed when a Metrolink train struck his car in Burbank Tuesday was attempting to circumvent railroad crossing arms when the collision occurred, officials said.

The man, identified as 79-year-old Fawaz Khalil, was struck by the Los Angeles-bound train on the tracks west of San Fernando Boulevard and Buena Vista Street about 3:15 p.m. He was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to Burbank police.

Khalil was the only occupant of the Toyota Camry.

Levon Gharibian, 24, said he was driving near the intersection at the time of the crash when he heard a thump and saw the wrecked car, which “looked mauled up.”

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The train had 130 passengers, and there were preliminary reports of three minor injuries, Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said.

In 2009, a Los Angeles Times article called the rail crossing at San Fernando and Buena Vista one of Metrolink’s most dangerous, with an intersection that is a maze of sharp turns and confusing signals.

Lustgarten noted that trains can’t steer out of the way of trouble and take a quarter- to half-mile to stop.

The collision remains under investigation.

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Anyone with additional information on the collision is urged to contact the Burbank police Traffic Bureau at (818) 238-3100.



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