Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Three Los Angeles Pedestrians Killed in Two Train Collisions in Ten Days

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Los Angeles, California – May 31, 2024 and June 9, 2024)

Three Los Angeles residents have sadly lost their lives after being involved in separate freight train collisions with an Amtrack Passenger Train and a Metro Light Rail Train. These tragedies took place within just ten days of one another.

The first collision occurred on Friday May 31st in the South LA area near Vernon Station, at around 1:45 pm after a man was struck by a southbound Metro A line train while walking across the tracks. According to reports by the Los Angeles Fire Department, the man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Vernon Station is set above-ground and hosts twin tracks that run next to Long Beach Avenue and is run by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA). At peak hours, Monday through Friday, the station operates trains between every 8 – 10 minutes and at night and in the early morning trains run every 20 minutes. According to Federal Railroad Administration data, the Vernon Station crossing sees over 208 passenger trains a day traveling between 35 – 55 mph and has had five pedestrian train collisions since 2006 with the most recent in 2021.

The Los Angeles Police Department are still investigating this collision and a Metro spokesperson has offered Metro’s condolences to the man’s family and friends.

The second collision occurred earlier this week on Sunday June 9th in Van Nuys, Los Angeles located just north of West Hollywood about twenty-two miles from the first collision. The collision was reported at just before 9:30 pm on Woodman Avenue when two pedestrians were struck by a traveling southbound Amtrack Pacific Surfliner Train. According to initial reports, both victims were pronounced deceased at the scene and were described as a man and a woman both believed to be around 35 years old. No other passengers or crew were injured in the collision.

This incident took place on a multi-track railway line that is owned and maintained by Southern Pacific Railroad (SPR) and is set between Woodman Place and Saticoy Street. Both Amtrack and Southern Pacific have yet to release any statements or information about the incident.

At this time none of the victims’ identities have been released and it is still unknown for both collisions how fast the trains were approaching the individuals on the tracks or how long the individuals were on the tracks.

Additionally, according to the most recent Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics, California ranks number one among states in total pedestrian casualties as of 2023. In 2023, there were 324 pedestrian/train casualties in California, with 190 deaths and 134 injuries. California also ranked number one in total pedestrian fatalities in 2022 as well.



Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8