(Los Angeles, California – March 28, 2015)
A Los Angeles Metrolink light rail commuter train collided with a silver Hyundai making a left turn into a University of Southern California student parking lot just before 11:00 A.M., PDT, Saturday morning, resulting in injuries for 19 passengers, the train’s engineer and the car’s driver.
The motorist, an otherwise unidentified 21-year-old USC film student, whom Metro Supervisor Diljiat Sandhu said apparently “didn’t see the approaching train,” had to be extricated from the demolished car, still caught partially beneath the train, by Los Angeles Fire Dept. first responders, and was taken to a nearby trauma center in what was described as “grave” condition.
The train’s engineer, veteran 29-year Metrolink employee Kenneth Goss, was taken to the same hospital with what were said to be “serious” injuries, yet he was later allowed to go home to recuperate under the care of his family.
Of the 19 passengers injured, some were treated at the scene, some were treated at the hospital and released, but eight were admitted for treatment of injuries when the first two cars of the train derailed but did not overturn.
The collision occurred near the intersection of Vermont Street and Los Angeles Exposition Boulevard where vehicular traffic travels east or west alongside the street-imbedded railroad tracks upon which the Metrolink light rail trains operate. The USC campus lies along the north side of the Boulevard and the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History is on the south side.
A newspaper article by John Rogers appearing in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed out that “the passenger cars are covered with a bold black-and-yellow warning sign that reads ‘Heads Up! Watch For Trains.” However, they do little good in motion, especially because the USC student was ahead of and probably never saw or heard the oncoming train.