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And That’s Why You Don’t Cross The Train Tracks When The Signals Are Flashing

Surveillance footage captured from a nearby auto parts store and shared by the LAPD on Twitter shows a collision between a car and A Line train. (Courtesy El Rey Auto Parts via LAPD)
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It could have been much worse, Los Angeles police said, after a car driver ignored crossing signals in South L.A. and was struck by a passing A Line train.

The crash happened Tuesday at 10:50 a.m. at Long Beach Avenue and 55th Street when the driver attempted to make a left across the tracks.

The driver sustained only minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital with complaints of pain, according to Officer Jonathan Maldonado from LAPD’s Central Traffic Bureau. There were 30 passengers on board the train at the time and no injuries were reported, said Brian Haas, a spokesman for the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Both agencies are investigating the collision.

The A Line (which you have every right to still call the Blue Line) runs at surface level. The crossing arms only extend across one lane in each direction, so they don’t stop you from driving on the wrong side of the street to cross the tracks, which is exactly what the driver did — directly into the path of the southbound train.

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Video obtained by the LAPD from a surveillance camera at El Rey Auto Parts on the opposite corner captured the crash.

LAPD investigators reported all controls at the crossing were working properly at the time of the collision, Maldonado told LAist Thursday.

Haas said the crossing gate was down “and providing the warning of an approaching train as designed.” Metro is conducting a full investigation to determine that all elements of the warning system were working properly.

It was the third car-versus-train crash at that location in the last 10 years, Haas said, calling those collision types “rare” for the area.

“Metro urges drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to heed all rail crossing warnings, even if it isn't immediately apparent a train is coming,” Haas added. “And no one should ever go around lowered crossing gates.”

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