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Dodge Magnum vs Metrolink "Murder" an Accident ?

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Brandon Julius Funches' family is saying that he did not intentionally drive his Dodge Magnum onto the train tracks in Pacoima yesterday while arguing with his girlfriend in a murder attempt in which he died.
"For them to say it was murder is not right," Funches' uncle told the LA Times today. "That is not him. It was just bad judgment. He was wrong."

The collision miraculously did not kill the woman, and perhaps only killed Funches because he jumped out of the car and was struck with debris. Some suggest that he may have been thrown from the "heavily customized" vehicle.

Witnesses told police that they saw the couple shouting at each other inside a 2005 Dodge Magnum that was waiting at the crossing for the oncoming Lancaster-bound train, which was filled with about 125 passengers, to pass. Suddenly, Sands said, the man pulled his car into the opposing lane of traffic, sped past two other waiting cars and the crossing gate, and parked on the tracks. Some witnesses told police that Funches appeared to have jumped out of the Dodge just as the train hit the vehicle. But police believe that he was ejected from the car when the train hit it -- perhaps while trying to leave the vehicle. The impact sent metal debris flying, with some of the pieces fatally wounding Funches, Sands said.

Detectives believe that Funches placed the car on the tracks with the passenger side facing the train in hopes of killing his girlfriend.

The train did not derail, and no one on board was injured, authorities said.

But the Dodge was so mangled, they said, that they could not immediately determine the make or model.

Whatever the story, the fact of the matter is Funches' girlfriend's condition has been upgraded to stable. This means that if someone in a Dodge Magnum can survive a 79-mph impact with a 450 ton train that did not derail - thus it delivered all the energy it could - then the Dodge Magnum is suddenly the most safe automobile we've ever seen. Bravo.
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photo via Der Tuningblogger

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