A bad year just keeps getting worse.
KNBC-4 is reporting that a teenage bike rider was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train in Palmdale Saturday night.
No other details are available at this time, including the time of the collision or which directions the rider and train were headed.
This has been a horrible year for bike/train collisions in Southern California. Seven bike riders have been killed by trains so far this year; this is the second this month alone. That compares with just two in all of last year, and four in 2011.
Yet this is the easiest type of collision to avoid. Just stop when the crossing gates come down, and wait until they go back up — even it if looks like it’s safe to cross.
And don’t even think you can beat the train.
Because chances are, you won’t.
This is the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th in Los Angeles County; that is eight more than were killed in the county in all of last year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.
Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.
Update: The LA Daily News reports that the victim, who still has not been publicly identified, was a 22-year old man.
According to the paper, a witness at the scene said the victim was riding with a group of friends around 7:10 pm when he tried to outrun the northbound train. The paper doesn’t say if he was the only one who tried to beat the train, or if any others might have made it across before he was hit.
Not surprisingly, none of the passengers on the Number 269 train were injured.
Update 2: The Antelope Valley Times identifies the victim as 22-year old Manuel Correa, no hometown given.
Meanwhile, a comment from Bryan Laine, below, indicates that he not only knew the victim, he was on the train at the time of the collision. According to him, the leaders of the group kept riding after the crossing arms began to fall, which led to Correa’s death as he evidently followed them across the tracks.