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Metrolink train strikes pedestrian near Burbank, severing his arm

A Metrolink train struck a man late Friday afternoon, severing his arm and delaying evening commuters for more than an hour.

The crash occurred about 4:15 p.m., shortly after the train had left the Burbank Airport station, the Los Angeles Times reported.

[FOR THE RECORD: An earlier verision of this post stated in the headline that the man was struck in Burbank. If fact, he was hit within the city of Los Angeles.]

The man was walking west along the tracks on a rail bridge that carries the train over the 170 Freeway, said Sgt. Donald Kelly, watch commander for the LAPD Valley Traffic Division, which is investigating the accident.


Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said the man had his back turned to the train and appeared to have headphones on. He did not respond when train operators blew the horn, and the train grazed him, severing his arm.

He was reportedly conscious when authorities took him to the hospital and is expected to survive, Kelly said. 

Andy Wheeler, 45, had boarded the train at the Burbank Airport station. He said he didn’t feel any kind of impact and assumed the train was just pausing on the bridge.

“It just kind of stopped. You didn’t even really notice what was going on,” Wheeler said.


Shortly after that, he said, Metrolink personnel asked for any medical or law enforcement people to come to the back of the train. A short time later, traffic in both directions of the commuter rail line was halted as investigators and medical crews arrived on the scene.

The train, which was carrying about 150 passengers, was allowed to continue on to Van Nuys station about 5:30 p.m. Passengers were instructed to take the next train, Lustgarten said.


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