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6 injured in traffic accident, train collision

December 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Metrolink commuter train collided Wednesday with a truck that had rolled onto the tracks after striking a sedan from behind, authorities said. Six people were injured, including two critically.The chain-reaction crash occurred at about 7 a.m. on the 9800 block of North San Fernando Road in Sun Valley near the intersection of Branford Street and San Fernando Road.

A Toyota Camry carrying two parents and their young son was headed northbound on San Fernando Road when the couple saw an oncoming LAPD patrol car with lights and sirens engaged traveling southbound.

They pulled to the side of the road yielding to the police car, but as they came to a complete stop to let the police car pass, the driver of a Nissan Frontier pickup truck coming up behind them failed to stop and crashed into the back of the Camry.

The impact sent the truck airborne and it partially landed on the train tracks. Moments later, a northbound Metrolink train collided with that Nissan truck and dragged the vehicle and its driver at least 100 yards.

"That Frontier pickup truck, once it hit the Camry, was launched over to the railroad tracks," said LAPD Commander George Villegas. "The right front portion of that truck was on the railroad tracks and at that point it was struck by a Metrolink passenger train."

The driver of the truck and the parents in the Camry were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. The boy was stabilized, then flown to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles for treatment.

There were 42 people onboard the train: a crew of three and 39 passengers.

"Eight of the passengers reported minor injuries. Two of those injuries were transported to a local hospital, Pacifica Hospital, in stable condition," said Los Angeles City Fire Assistant Chief Greg West.

The train was on Metrolink's Antelope Valley line and had left downtown Los Angeles at 6:35 a.m. en route to Sylmar.

The Los Angeles Police Department has asked anyone who was driving through the intersection of Branford and San Fernando at about 7 a.m. Wednesday to contact them at (877) 527-3247 (LAPD-24-7).

"We are asking if anybody witnessed what occurred at 7 o'clock in the morning that was passing through here to please contact the Los Angeles Police Department, because we're interested in speaking with you, because we want to put this investigation together. We want to complete it," said LAPD William Bustos.


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