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Police conclude investigation of derailment

Ben Godar

The man behind the wheel of a car that crashed into a MetroLink

train, causing it to derail, might have been under the influence of

alcohol, according to a Burbank Police Department report.

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The report, released this week following a nearly four-month

investigation into the January collision, concluded 63-year-old Jacek

Wysocki “was operating a motor vehicle with a measurable amount of

alcohol in his system and may have been operating a motor vehicle

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under the influence of alcohol.”

Wysocki, a Van Nuys resident, was killed instantly when he drove

his truck around the crossing arms and was struck by the commuter

train, the report stated.

The impact caused the truck’s fuel tank to burst into flames and

caused the train to derail, the report stated.

According to the report, the crossing arm, bells, horn and

flashing lights were functioning properly at the time of the crash

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near the intersection of San Fernando Road and Buena Vista Street.

That same conclusion was reached in a report issued last month by the

state Public Utilities Commission.

The Jan. 6 crash injured 32 passengers on the train, including a

76-year-old woman who died a few weeks later. Damage to the train

cars, tracks and signal system was estimated at more than $3 million,

Burbank Fire officials said.

Toxicology reports performed by the L.A. County coroner’s office

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showed Wysocki had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 in his liver and a

level of 0.02 in his stomach at the time of the crash, according to

published news reports.

A blood-alcohol level of 0.08 defines a driver as legally

intoxicated, but in published reports, coroners officials said the

level in the liver might not have accurately reflected the level in

the bloodstream.


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