Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Jury Selection Begins for Fatal Metrolink Crash

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

At 6 a.m. on January 26, 2005, a man sat his Jeep Grand Cherokee across Metrolink train tracks near Chevy Chase Drive in Glendale in an attempt to, what he and his family members claim, commit suicide. Juan Manuel Alvarez, then 26, abandoned his vehicle before a southbound train hit it, derailing and colliding with a northbound train. Glendale Police say his actions were "not consistent" with those of someone attempting suicide and a Glendale Fire Department arson investigator found that gasoline had been poured on the Jeep.

11 people died and 180 were injured in the massive crash that made national headlines. Today, jury selection begins for the trial that is expected to last through June. Lawyers will have to weed through around 470 jurors. Alvarez has remained in jail without bail since he was arrested in 2005 and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Last week, a man was killed by a Metrolink train in Santa Fe Springs where he allegedly set up a seat on the tracks and waited for the train to hit him, according to witnesses. Also, Metrolink is looking to increase fares yet again.