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Jury Selection Begins for Fatal Metrolink Crash
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.