Metrolink Train Crashes Into Truck Stopped On Tracks, Injuring 28
Over two dozen people were injured today when a Metrolink train collided with a tractor-trailer in Ventura County. At about 5:45 a.m., near East 5th Street and South Rice Avenue in Oxnard, the driver of the truck had stopped his vehicle on the tracks and fled for reasons that are still unclear, the L.A. Times reports. An engineer spotted the truck and hit the brakes before crashing into the truck at an estimated 40 to 55 mph, derailing four cars, according to Yahoo News.
Of the 51 passengers on the train, 28 of the them were taken to the hospital and four, including one Metrolink engineer, are in critical condition. There have been no fatalities. Fire investigator Joe Garces cited broken bones and head trauma among the injuries sustained when the derailed cars rolled over.
The truck was on fire when investigators arrived, but it's unclear if the truck had caught on fire before or as a result of the crash. The driver, who investigators say was not inside the truck when it was hit, fled the scene. He was later found a few miles away and detained for questioning. The crash is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Metrolink has upgraded its safety features since a 2008 crash in Chatsworth where a texting train engineer failed to stop at a signal and crashed into a Union Pacific freight train. The crash claimed the lives of that engineer and 24 others.
As a result of today's crash, Metrolink lines 104 and 768 have been canceled. Passengers can call 800-371-LINK to ask about their routes. Also, Amtrak has cancelled all of the Pacific Surfliner routes north of Los Angeles, City News Service reports. Amtrak's Coast Starlight trains (the Los Angeles to Seattle route) in both directions will start and stop in Emeryville, CA.
Here's more debris:
Here's an up-close view of the overturned train: