Defendant apologizes for rail deaths

LOS ANGELES Taking the witness stand, Juan Alvarez, 29, asked for forgiveness from families of those killed in the January 2005 disaster involving two Metrolink trains.

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He apologized on the witness stand saying he was trying to kill himself and never meant to harm anyone else. Alvarez said that on that tragic day, the day initially began with him watering roses and then sudden thoughts of suicide.

Alvarez admits to causing the 2005 commuter train disaster in Glendale, in which 11 people were killed and 180 were injured.

On the witness stand he asked for forgiveness. Some relatives of the dead were present as Alvarez testified.

As his testimony continued, Alvarez said to kill himself he initially poured gas over himself and his Jeep, took out a lighter and then decided that burning himself was too painful.

He then drove over the railroad tracks hoping that a train would smash into his Jeep and kill him quickly.

Prosecutors argue Alvarez meant to harm others because before the train smacked into his vehicle he got out.

Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of murder and one count of arson. He could face the death penalty if convicted.


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