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Glendale Train Wreck: Meet Juan Alvarez

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The Washington Post profiles Juan Alvarez, the man who police say caused the Glendale train wreck. According to the story, Alvarez's family believes that he left his parked Jeep on the tracks because:

"He was there, and out of nowhere he basically saw a light," says Carmelita Alvarez, who has visited her husband in jail. "Not the light from the train. He said he felt like there was a presence from God telling him to get away."

Unsurprisingly, the accident's investigators differ.

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Alvarez wasn't trying to kill himself, says Sgt. Tom Lorenz, a police spokesman. "He may have thought about committing suicide, but his actions are not consistent with that," he said. "When you're contemplating suicide, would you light yourself on fire? How many people kill themselves that way? Why not lie down on the tracks? Why would you walk away and watch the train hit your car?"

The defense is expected to argue that the answer is, "Because Alvarez is suicidal and mentally ill."

LAist on the accident, morning-after rail accident coverage, helping train accident victims, bloggers documenting the accident, the fallout from the accident, predatory lawyers circling the accident victims

Photo credited to the Los Angeles Times.