A commuter train bound for Los Angeles hit a tractor trailer stopped on the tracks during rush hour on Tuesday morning.
The accident injured more than 50 persons. The tractor trailer driver who was stopped on the tracks, got out of his vehicle and fled on foot. He was caught and taken into custody several miles from the crash site.
The Oxnard City Fire Department spokesman Joe Garces provided details of the fiery and dangerous crash. The commuter train was a double-decker Metrolink and in the accident, three of the trains rail cars were overturned. An additional two rail cars were derailed from the tracks but managed to remain upright.
Law enforcement officials have shared that the train was traveling at approximately 79 miles per hour. The train conductor was able to hit the emergency brakes but this was not enough to avoid the collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be sending investigators to determine who was at fault in the accident. The accident was first reported by Reuters news outlets. Witnesses report that the crossing is a dangerous one in which the lights and guardrails appear too late to warn drivers that a car is coming.
While there were no fatalities in the incident, 28 people were transported to six area hospitals. The injuries include head, neck, and back trauma. Additionally, multiple broken bones were reported. Emergency medical professionals treated 23 individuals on the scene and released them. Several of the individuals transported to hospitals, including the driver of the train are listed in critical condition.
This is not the first Metrolink commuter train accident in California. In 2008, a Metrolink commuter train collided with a locomotive owned by Union Pacific. That accident, unlike today’s, killed 25 people and injured 135 persons.
While that accident was blamed on the commuter trains engineer, today’s trucking accident seems to have been caused primarily by the driver of the tractor trailer. His arrest and initial attempt to flee the scene suggest that he may be held responsible for the accident.
Experienced Sacramento truck accident attorneys are assisting injured persons with an evaluation of their legal rights.
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