Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blue Line Kills 17 and 27 Year Old and Leaves 7 Year Old in Critical Condition

2 Killed, 2 Injured in Car Hit by Train

Los Angeles Times
By Nancy Cleeland
August 21, 2006

A man and his sister were killed and his 7-year-old son was critically injured Sunday morning when the man turned their car in front of a Blue Line train near downtown Los Angeles and the vehicle was dragged half a block along the tracks, police said.

The siblings’ grandmother, 68, who was in the back seat, was being treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for chest pains, said Det. Josephine Mapson of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The driver was identified as Cesar Herrera, 27, of Los Angeles. His sister, Maria A. Herrera, was 17. Police did not identify the survivors.

Six of the 92 passengers on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority train were treated for minor injuries and released, Mapson said.

Both the car and the train, which runs at street level along the center of Washington Boulevard, were traveling east. The train’s operator told police that he saw a maroon Mazda stopped in the left-turn lane ahead of him at the intersection of Maple Avenue. Just as the train was about to pass, the traffic light turned green for through traffic but the left-turn arrow remained red.

Nevertheless, the Mazda driver turned left in front of the train, and the car was struck and pushed 162 feet east.

Mapson said the driver may have misread the traffic signal, which also has a box with flashing lights indicating an approaching train.

Los Angeles Fire Department personnel cut away the roof of the smashed car to remove the boy and his great-grandmother.

“I’ve been here 4 1/2 years and I’ve lost count of the number of accidents I’ve seen with this train,” said fire Battalion Chief Ray Gomez.

2 die when car collides with Blue Line train

Daily Breeze
August 21, 2006

Two people were killed and two other people, including a 7-year- old boy, were critically injured Sunday when the vehicle they were in collided with a Blue Line train in downtown Los Angeles, a fire official said.

The crash was reported at Maple Avenue and Washington Boulevard shortly after 9 a.m., said Brian Ballton of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A 25-year-old man, who was driving, and his 17-year-old sister, were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

A 55-year-old woman and the 7-year-old boy were taken to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in critical condition, he said.

Witnesses told KABC Channel 7 it appeared the man tried to make a left turn in front of the train.

About 50 people were on the train, and six were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, Ballton said.

According to KCBS Channel 2, it's the third crash involving an MTA Blue Line train in eight days.

On Aug. 13, a Blue Line train collided with a car at Flower Street and Pico Boulevard downtown, injuring the driver of a Honda, his passenger and several rail passengers.

Two days ago, a woman suffered minor injuries when she tried to make a turn in front of a Blue Line train near Flower Street and Venice Boulevard and was struck.

Two Dead, Eight Injured After Car Crashes Into MTA Train

August 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Two people were killed and two others, including a 7- year-old boy, were critically injured Sunday when the vehicle they were in crashed into an MTA Blue Line train, a fire official said.

Of the 50 people on the train which was hit near downtown Los Angeles, six were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries, said Los Angeles City fire spokesperson Brian Ballton.

Fire personnel were dispatched to the scene of the crash in the area of Maple Avenue and Washington Boulevard at 9:03 a.m., Ballton said.

The 40-year-old male driver and the front seat passenger, a 40-year-old woman, were pronounced dead at the scene. The other occupants, a 55- year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy, were transported to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in critical condition.

A description of the vehicle involved in the crash was not immediately available, Ballton said.