Tag Archive for bike vs train

Update: 22-year old cyclist killed by Metrolink Train in Palmdale; 7th bike/train death this year

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.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was crossing the tracks at Palmdale Blvd and Sierra Highway, when he reportedly tried to beat the train across the tracks.

And failed.

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.

Update: 15-year old bike rider killed in Metrolink collision; first SoCal bike death in nearly a month

We almost made it.

It’s been exactly 26 days since the last bicycling fatality anywhere in Southern California. Lately I’ve kept my fingers crossed the we could make it to a full four weeks; a much needed respite in what has been a very bad year for SoCal cyclists.

Sadly, we didn’t make it.

And neither did a young Riverside man.

News is just breaking that a teenage boy was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train in Riverside earlier this evening; KCBS-2 originally identified him as 15 years old, but later removed that from their story.

According to Murrieta Patch, the young man, who has not been publicly identified, was crossing the tracks at Madison Street near Indiana Avenue at 5:58 pm Thursday when he was struck by a train headed from Orange County to San Bernardino.

A satellite photo shows standard drop-bar crossing arms on both sides of the tracks.

No word on which direction he was riding, or how he ended up on the tracks as the train was coming through. However, a division chief for the Riverside Fire Department speculated that there may have been a second train coming in the opposite direction after the first train had passed.

There are few things easier to avoid than a wreck with a train. Unlike cars, they can’t deviate from a set track; all you have to do is stop when the barricades come down, and wait until they go back up before crossing the tracks — regardless of how safe it may seem at the time.

This is the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. That compares with 62 and 11, respectively, this time last year.

He is also the sixth Southern California bicyclist to be killed by a train this year, compared to just two in all of last year, and four in 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his family and friends; this news will be devastating for whatever school he may have attended.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

Update: A report from KNBC-4 confirms that the victim was 15-years old, and that witnesses said he waited for one train to pass, then was hit by second train coming from the opposite direction when he attempted to cross the tracks. 

Update 2: According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim was riding south on the sidewalk on the west side of Madison Street when he stopped for the first train. 

A witness who recognized the boy waved at him, and watched the wreck unfold. 

“We saw him riding his bike, and we just waved at him,” said Soto, who was heading to a friend’s home in the Casa Blanca neighborhood. “He stopped right there at the (crossing) light” when an eastbound freight train passed by.

“It passed by and 30 seconds later we’re still just waiting there for it (the crossing gate) to lift up. I see a train coming and oh, it’s another train,” Soto said. “I could see the kid go straight and I guess he didn’t look to his left and he got hit. It was a loud pop. At first … I didn’t believe it.”

The witness, who said he was scarred for life by what he’d seen, went on to say that the victim may have been fooled when the warning gate started to lift before coming back down again. 

“I thought something was wrong with it,” he said, “so I guess he (the boy on the bicycle) saw that with the corner of his eye and went straight. I guess now he’s in heaven.”

Update 3: The San Bernardino Sun identifies the victim as Serafin Gonzalez of Riverside.

Update 4: According to the Press-Enterprise, Gonzalez was just out for a quick ride when he was killed; he was dragged over 170 feet by the force of the impact.

He was described by his teachers as an extremely good young man without a mean bone in his body. 

And in an indication of a serious problem, the paper reports that Gonzalez was the fourth person in Riverside to be struck and killed by a second train after waiting for the first train to pass in the last four years.

Update 5: A vigil was held in Gonzalez’s memory Friday night. In a tragic irony, he lived on Railroad Avenue, paralleling the tracks he died on. 

Bike rider killed by Metrolink train in Baldwin Park

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed by a Metrolink train while walking his bike in Baldwin Park Friday night.

Carlos Jacinto DeSantiago, a 49-year old Norwalk resident, was walking his bike west on Ramona Blvd at Downey Avenue at 7:28 pm when he stepped under a railroad crossing arm, and walked onto the tracks in front of the oncoming train.

No explanation was given for why he stepped in front of the train, Metrolink #335 on the San Bernardino  line. Witnesses reported that he went under the train after he was hit; Baldwin Park police say he suffered multiple injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:01 pm.

With all due respect to the victim, there is no collision easier for a cyclist to avoid than a wreck with a train.

Unlike motor vehicles, which can roam freely throughout the roadway, trains are confined to a set space and a predetermined schedule. All you have to do is stay off those tracks at that time to avoid getting hit.

And the easiest way to do that is to never, ever ride or walk under, around or through the warning gates, or cross the tracks when warning signals are on.

Why DeSantiago didn’t do that will probably never be known.

This is the 59th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. DeSantiago was the second cyclist killed in Baldwin Park in 2012, and the second SoCal rider killed in a collision with a train this year, both in L.A. County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carlos Jacinto DeSantiago, and all his family and loved ones.

Yet another L.A. County cycling fatality, as La Puente man killed by train on Saturday

Evidently, Saturday was a very bad day for local cyclists.

Following the news that Carol Schreder was killed on Mulholland Hwy in the morning, a 57-year old cyclist was killed in La Puente that afternoon.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the rider, who has not been publicly identified, was crossing the railroad tracks near Valley Boulevard and 7th Avenue around 4:30 pm when he was hit and killed by a westbound freight train . Reportedly, he was riding slowly across the tracks, and the train, which was traveling at 70 mph, was unable to stop in time.

The paper reports that the crossing arms and signals at the intersection were working properly; no explanation why the rider was on the tracks.

This is the 66th confirmed traffic-related biking fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County; that matches the total for the county for 2009, which is the last year on record. He was also the second cyclist killed at a train crossing in L.A. County in 2011, and the 5th in Southern California.

Cyclist killed in Blue Line collision, third SoCal cyclist killed in three days

This has got to stop.

For the third time in the last three days — and the fifth time since the beginning of the year — a cyclist has been killed in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area.

According to the Contra Costa Times, an unidentified Hispanic cyclist approximately 30-years old apparently tried to beat the Blue Line train across the tracks; or possibly was not paying attention — though how you miss an oncoming train is beyond me.

The collision occurred at 1:46 pm Thursday at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Wardlow Road in Long Beach. Personnel from Long Beach Fire Department reported that the rider was dragged several hundred feet following the impact, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Please, take it front someone who grew up around trains.

You won’t beat a train across the tracks, and it’s not worth risking your life to try. I tired — and barely made it — once, and had a close enough call that I never want to try it again.

Note: the Contra Costa Times story has photos; however, there is a very disturbing image of the bike under the train that you may not want to see.

Update: The Long Beach Post has additional photos of the collision scene. Again, use your discretion; some people may be disturbed by the photos — myself included.

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