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  1. #1
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Default Multiple Train Derailment near Los Angeles

    This morning, a Metrolink commuter train heading into Los Angeles struck a Jeep Cheorkee on the tracks in Glendale and derailed. During the derailment, the Metrolink train struck a parked Union Pacific freight train on an adjacent track and jacknifed, in turn striking a second Metrolink train heading out of L.A. on another adjacent track.

    At this time, there are 9 confirmed fatalities and over 100 injuries (30 critical) requiring transport. One of the fatalities was an off-duty L.A. Deputy Sheriff who was heading into work, and an unknown number of other LASD personnel were injured in the crash (LASD provides law enforcement services on-board Metrolink trains). LAFD, Glendale FD and other fire personnel are currently still on-scene and Coroner's investigators are conducting their investigation.

    There are unconfirmed reports that the driver of the Cherokee was attempting to commit suicide by driving onto the tracks, but chickened out at the last moment and left the vehicle. He is currently at large.

    News coverage and photos are available at ABC - Commuter Train Derails in Glendale
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    I heard the initial reports on the news this morning. Very nasty indeed. Regarding the individual who drove the Cheeroke..... I can't/won't post my thoughts on that one.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member JJonesy's Avatar
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    CNN.com is reporting some additional detail. From the article:

    "The suspect, identified as Juan Manuel Alvarez, 26, got out of the vehicle before impact and watched the collision, Adams said."
    Jim

    Lieutenant
    East Glenville FD eastglenvillefd.com

  4. #4
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    The number of fatalities currently stands at 10. The driver of the Cherokee, Mr. Alvarez, was taken into custody at or near the scene and will be charged with at least 10 counts of murder. He apparently suffered no injuries from the crash, but did have what were described as "superficial" wounds to his wrists and chest that appear to be either part of his initial or a second suicide attempt. He is currently being held by the Glendale Police Department under suicide watch.

    FYI, the Cherokee was apparently on the tracks but not at a road crossing, which is part of why investigators immediately began considering Mr. Alvarez's actions to be a suicide attempt.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  5. #5
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Question

    Yup, Have read about it on the front page. Cops have arrested the dude that parked the suv on the tracks. He needs to be burnt at the stake!!




    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Some pictures...

    Pictures...
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer
    Yup, Have read about it on the front page. Cops have arrested the dude that parked the suv on the tracks. He needs to be burnt at the stake!!




    Yep, his public defender will cook up some happy horse---- defense, and the guy will get off with a slap on the wrist. What a pathetic excuse for a human being. He doesn't have the cajones to go through with it, so he bails and dooms ten people to death. What a shame.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Same thing Happenned over here in November.

    Berkshire Rail Crash

    7 Killed becuase a Guy decided to Drive onto a Level Crossing to kill himslef!!!!
    Steve Dude
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  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile Yo! Steve,........................ .

    Thanks for posting the story of the Young man from Reading. I noted that it has been some time now, since that incident happened. Any more information yet? Thanks.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Just Remembered this................

    This was a Chevy Camaro that was hit by a Freight train, and drug along the track until it became caught under a passenger car of a commuter train that was stopped to pick up people from the Riverdale (Md) station. Remarkably, NO injuries. Camaro Driver said he turned too tight coming off the crossing, and his wheel stuck on the rail. He (and a passenger) bailed before the train got too close.
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  11. #11
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) - The commuter train was cruising toward
    Los Angeles just before daybreak when a terrifying image emerged
    just ahead: a sport utility vehicle parked squarely on the tracks.
    The train plowed into the Jeep Grand Cherokee, derailed and
    crashed into an oncoming commuter train, sending riders tumbling
    down the aisles of the double-deck rail cars and creating a
    devastating scene of twisted metal.
    At least 11 people were killed and more than 180 injured in the
    nation's worst train wreck in nearly six years. Dozens were in
    critical condition. One elderly man on the train was covered in
    blood and soot, his legs and arms apparently broken.
    Authorities said the crash was caused by an aborted suicide
    attempt by a man who parked the SUV on the tracks. Police said he
    then changed his mind and got out of the vehicle before the
    Metrolink train came crashing down. The man was arrested.
    "I heard a noise. It got louder and louder," said passenger
    Diane Brady, 56. "And next thing I knew the train tilted, everyone
    was screaming and I held onto a pole for dear life. I held on for
    what seemed like a week and a half it seemed. It was a complete
    nightmare."
    The 11th body was discovered in the wreckage after nightfall,
    bringing the number of victims to two women and nine men, including
    sheriff's Deputy James Tutino, 47, whose flag-draped body was
    saluted by law enforcement officers and firefighters as it was
    carried from the wreckage.
    Before his rescue, one trapped man apparently used his own blood
    to write a note on a seat bottom. Using the heart symbol, he wrote
    "I love my kids" and "I love Leslie." The man's identity was
    not known, but Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Rex Vilaubi
    said the man was alive when he was removed.
    Employees at a nearby Costco who heard the thunderous collision
    rushed to the scene, including forklift operators, truck drivers
    and stock clerks who worked side-by-side to pull victims from the
    wreckage before flames from the crash got out of control. They used
    store carts to wheel some of the most severely injured to safety.
    "There were people stuck in the front. Everything was
    mangled," Costco clerk Jenny Doll said. "You could not even tell
    that it was a train cab at all."
    The SUV's driver, Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, of Compton, was
    expected to be booked for investigation of a "homicide-related
    offense," said police Sgt. Tom Lorenz. Alvarez had also slashed
    his wrists and stabbed himself, but the injuries were not
    life-threatening. Authorities said Alvarez had a criminal record
    that involved drugs. District Attorney Steve Cooley said no
    decision had been made on charges in the wreck.
    "This whole incident was started by a deranged individual that
    was suicidal," Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams said. "I think
    his intent at that time was to take his own life but changed his
    mind prior to the train actually striking this vehicle."
    Alvarez's sister-in-law, Maricela Amaya, told Telemundo TV that
    he had separated from his wife, Carmelita, three months ago. She
    said the wife got a court order to keep him away, but he had tried
    to see his wife and son.
    "He was having problems with drugs and all that and was violent
    and because of that he separated from her," Amaya said in Spanish.
    "A few other times he went around as if he wanted to kill himself.
    I said if you're going to kill yourself, go kill yourself far away.
    Don't come by here telling that to my sister."
    She said he had also threatened suicide in front of his son.
    According to the request for a temporary restraining order,
    which was granted Dec. 14, Carmelita Alvarez said her husband
    "threatened to take our kid away and to hurt my family members."
    "He is planning on selling his vehicle to buy and gun and
    threatened to use it," she said in the court documents. "He is
    using drugs and has been in and out of rehab twice."
    The crash occurred in an industrial area of Glendale, a suburb
    north of Los Angeles. One train was inbound to Los Angeles' Union
    Station from Moorpark, a western suburb. The other train was
    outbound from Union Station to the San Fernando Valley. The inbound
    train hit the SUV about 6 a.m., just as the other train was about
    to pass in the other direction. The second train also jumped the
    tracks.
    More than 120 people were sent to hospitals, and another 60 were
    assessed at the scene and released.
    The wreck set in motion a massive rescue and triage operation,
    including more than 300 firefighters who climbed ladders into
    windows of battered train cars. Dazed passengers, some limping,
    gathered at tables in a nearby store, while the injured sprawled on
    color-coded mats in the parking lot: red for those with severe
    injuries, green for those less seriously harmed.
    Anguished relatives rushed to the area to find out what had
    become of passengers on the trains. George Touma, 19, said he was
    called by his mother, who was on one of the trains.
    "She told me she was bleeding in the head and her arm was
    really hurting," said Touma, who was near the scene searching for
    her. "I'm really worried because she has vertigo and when I tried
    to call back she wouldn't answer.
    It was the worst U.S. rail tragedy since March 15, 1999, when an
    Amtrak train hit a truck and derailed near Bourbonnais, Ill.,
    killing 11 people and injuring more than 100.
    Teams from the FBI, National Transportation Safety Board and
    Federal Railroad Administration were dispatched.
    Past crashes have raised questions about whether rail lines
    should be separated from roadways to prevent the possibility of
    vehicles getting onto train tracks. But Wednesday's tragedy also
    drew criticism over the configuration of the train that struck the
    SUV.
    Timothy Smith, state legislative chairman for the Brotherhood of
    Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, faulted the rail line for its
    use of the "cab-car" to lead the train, with the locomotive
    pushing from the rear. Unlike a locomotive, a cab car has a small
    control booth for the engineer, along with passenger seating.
    If the heavier locomotive was at the front of the train, Smith
    said, it would have probably pushed the vehicle off the tracks and
    avoided a derailment. Having a locomotive pushing from the rear
    also creates an "accordion" effect on the middle cars, increasing
    damage, he said.

    APTV 01-27-05 0045EST
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  12. #12
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sheriff's Deputy James P. Tutino was so
    popular at the Men's Central Jail that even the inmates liked him,
    friends and co-workers said.
    Tutino, 47, of Simi Valley, was one of 10 people killed
    Wednesday when a suicidal man apparently parked his SUV on railroad
    tracks in Glendale, then changed his mind and ran as the train
    carrying the deputy and hundreds of other commuters slammed into
    it. As that train toppled off the tracks, it struck a northbound
    commuter train and a parked Union Pacific locomotive.
    Tutino, a 23-year veteran of the sheriff's department, was an
    expert on street gangs and worked in administration headquarters at
    the jail. "He was a really good guy and was really well liked by
    everyone," said Deputy Gordon McMullen, a co-worker at the jail.
    "Even the inmates liked him. He was a really good person."
    It was the nation's worst train wreck in nearly six years. Other
    victims included:
    - Elizabeth "Liz" Hill, an accounting services specialist with
    the city of Glendale. Hill, who had worked for the city since 1979,
    had planned to retire later this year.
    -Scott McKeown, a husband and father who was acting
    telecommunications manager for the city of Pasadena.
    -Manuel Alcala, 51, another sheriff's employee who worked there
    for more than 13 years and was a senior general maintenance worker.
    -Julia Bennett, 44, a senior clerk typist for the Los Angeles
    Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau.
    -An unidentified Metrolink conductor. Officials did not know
    which of the two commuter trains he was aboard, Metrolink CEO David
    Solow said. The conductor was contracted from Amtrak, which
    operates the Metrolink trains.
    Other names were withheld until relatives could be notified.
    Before Tutino was removed from the train, a firefighter
    retrieved a flag and draped it over him. As rescue workers carried
    his body away, two lines of deputies, police and firefighters
    formed and they seemed to salute as one.
    Tutino, defensive coordinator for the Simi Valley High School
    varsity football team, was married and had four grown children.
    His next-door neighbor, Barbara Matteson, 38, said members of
    the football team helped him move in about five months ago and he
    always had a smile and wave ready.
    An avid runner, he participated in the annual law enforcement
    relay run from Baker, Calif. to Las Vegas.
    "He was just a good guy, he bought Girl Scout cookies from my
    daughter," Matteson said.
    Principal Jan Britz said Tutino was a football coach for years
    at the high school.
    "He really took the time to get to know the kids as a coach and
    would carry it to another level and get to know them as a friend,"
    Britz said. And he wouldn't cut practice short just because he had
    a bad day at work, she said.
    Football players were told of Tutino's death after final exams
    Wednesday and school officials planned a Thursday night candlelight
    ceremony on the football field to honor him, Britz said.
    McKeown, survived by a wife and 8-year-old daughter and
    5-year-old son, maintained telephone, radio and sound systems for
    the city, said Ann Erdman, Pasadena city spokeswoman.
    "He was the most human techie that I've ever known," Erdman
    said. "He always made it a point to sort of translate technology
    information and issues down to a level the rest of us could easily
    understand."
    She described him as a low-key, dedicated family man.
    "He was not always flashing photos of the kids, but if asked
    about his family he would just glow," Erdman said. "He was very
    proud of his family and very proud that he was the dad to these
    kids."

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  13. #13
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    By DAISY NGUYEN
    Associated Press Writer
    GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) - Passengers on Metrolink Train 100 heard
    a terrible rumbling. Then the lights suddenly flickered out, the
    floor tipped at a dangerous angle, and Tracy West went flying.
    "I was flipping over people until I landed a couple of feet
    ahead and hit a cup-holder, armrest or something," said West, 38,
    of Los Angeles. "Then when it was over I saw that I was bleeding
    and had bruises all over."
    West spoke as she was treated for a severe leg wound at a triage
    center set up in a parking lot for survivors of Wednesday's train
    crash.
    At least 11 people were killed and more than 180 injured after
    the train headed from Moorpark to Los Angeles struck an SUV parked
    on the track. The train derailed and sideswiped another Metrolink
    train. The SUV's driver - a man authorities said was suicidal -
    survived.
    Those who emerged from the trains said they had no idea what was
    happening as cars slid awkwardly and commuters who had been napping
    tumbled down the aisles.
    "I heard a noise. It got louder and louder. And next thing I
    knew the train tilted, everyone was screaming and I held onto a
    pole for dear life," said Diane Brady, 56, of Simi Valley. "I
    held on for what seemed like a week and a half it seemed. It was a
    complete nightmare, like nothing I've experienced in my 6Ĺ years of
    taking the Metrolink."
    Transportation engineer Paul Konkirati, 28, of Burbank braced
    himself when the train began sliding, grabbing hold of a bar.
    "We hit and then somebody's head landed on my thigh," said
    Konkirati, his jeans covered in blood as he stood near the scene of
    the accident. The bleeding woman told him over and over, "I can't
    move my head."
    "I sat there and I tried to comfort her. I didn't know what
    else to do," Konkirati said. "Then it got really smoky, so smoky
    that I had to leave. I don't know what happened to her."
    Hemlata Thomas, 67, of Chatsworth heard the roar of the crash
    and the screams of passengers around her. "I thought it was an
    earthquake because of the sound of gravel underneath the train,"
    Thomas said.
    Thomas had only started taking the train to her job at Bank of
    America downtown six days ago, after friends convinced her that it
    would be less stressful than driving. She said she is unsure
    whether she will take the train again.

    APTV 01-26-05 2334EST
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  14. #14
    Forum Member draco9's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    A very grueling work.
    A passenger train and a freight train crashed in fog-shrouded countryside, at the full speed of 140 km/h, near my town on 7 january.
    My team first, then a lot of other teams from other near fire stations, run to the place, operating in a way very similar to that of Glendale FD and other teams, for three days.
    It was a very distressing and hard work. To free entrapped bodies, living or not, and to look for them in a caos of metal plate was exhausting. Our first tools, on our truck, were not optimal, a train metal plate is very strong and hard to cut. We broke one of our extrication tool (cutter), and we operated effectively only with spreader, piston and a hand cutting torch (very functional!) keeping cold the stuff with water. And a lot of our wood ladders.
    Our solidarity to involved people and firefighters working there.
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  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the story of the Young man from Reading. I noted that it has been some time now, since that incident happened. Any more information yet? Thanks.
    hwoods,

    Background on this Guy turned up that he was depressed and had told a few people he was suicidail. Apart from that nothing new...this is a big Push by the Rail Unions to have all level Crossing manned again as they were years ago, following a lot of accidents (not all this bad)in recent years. I doubt that will happen though becuase that is a whole lot of Buildings to be re-built and lots of wages to be paid.

    The BBC link contains most of the up to date info on the right hand side of the page.
    Steve Dude
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