Word is just coming in that a bike rider was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train this morning.
The LA Times puts the time as around 7:10 am, and identifies the train as Metrolink 682 bound for Orange County from Downtown Los Angeles. The paper reports the victim rode around the crossing gate; he died at the scene.
Train collisions are the easiest type of collision to avoid, yet there have been at least 14 other riders killed by trains in Southern California since January, 2011, including eight last year.
There is simply no excuse, ever, for riding around a railroad crossing barrier. However, the high number of fatal train collisions — cyclists, drivers and pedestrians — would suggest that more needs to be done to keep people off the tracks when trains are approaching.
This is the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Los Angeles County.
My sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the train was headed to Downtown Los Angeles, based on information in the Times’ story.
Update: According to the Whittier Daily News, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding the wrong way on eastbound Lakeland. That would have placed him on the opposite side of the road from the crossing barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:24 am.
Update 2: According to LAist, the LA County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as 23-year old Dale Hummels of Whittier. Oddly, the coroner’s felt a need to clarify that Hummels’ death was not a suicide.