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Train strikes car on tracks

May 13, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

AIRPORT DISTRICT — Authorities continue to investigate why a Metrolink train struck a car Thursday on the tracks at a grade crossing in Burbank.

The driver, an 18-year-old Glendale woman, cleared sobriety tests after narrowly escaping from the sedan, which the oncoming Metrolink train smashed at North Buena Vista Street near Vanowen Street, Police Sgt. Robert Quesada said. No one was injured.

Operators shut down trains in both directions after the crash at 9:18 a.m., said Metrolink spokeswoman Angela Starr. “We were informed by law enforcement that the person exited the car before impact,” she said.

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The driver told police investigators that she was trying to make a right turn onto Vanowen Street from Buena Vista Street and ended up on the tracks. She fled after her car got stuck on an embankment as the train approached, Quesada said.

The “T intersection” and grade crossing has been the site of several near-misses and reported crashes, leading to repeated concerns from people who live at the foot of Vanowen Street. Quesada on Thursday said police notified the National Transportation Safety Board.

None of the 75 passengers or two crew were injured in what authorities described as a “horrendous collision,” Burbank Fire Capt. Ron Bell said.

Police shut down North Buena Vista Street between West Empire and Pacific avenues. Ventura County Line Train 110 departed Moorpark at 8:26 a.m. and was headed for Union Station in Los Angeles, Starr said. It was released about 10:16 a.m., and the tracks were opened in both directions.


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