This is exactly what I’ve been worried about.
Ever since the Orange County Register announced their draconian paywall policy requiring even the most casual online visitors to subscribe to the paper to read a single article, I’ve feared what would happen the next time a bike rider died behind the Orange Curtain.
And tonight, those fears have been realized.
According to the brief introduction to the story the paper posted online, a man was struck and killed by a Metrolink train while walking his bicycle along railroad tracks in Anaheim. The collision occurred around 4:30 pm on the tracks south of La Palma Ave and east of Pauline Street.
If there is any more information, it is hidden behind the paper’s login page.
Hopefully, another publication will provide the details the paper is keeping to itself. Because as it stands now, the Orange Curtain has become as opaque as a digital Berlin Wall.
This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Orange County. It’s also the second bike rider killed by a train since the first of the year.
My prayers go out to the victim and his loved ones.
Update: A comment from Calwatch below identifies the victim as Andrew Powell of Fullerton, and places the time of death at before 3:30 pm, rather than 4:30.
Another comment from Carlos P offers a second-hand eye-witness report:
my brother was in the number 1 lane going east bound right up front and a white van was next to him in the number 2 lane. when a pedestrian tried to cross the tracks west bound after the arms were down. my brother and the van both saw the train coming and blowing his horn over and over again and the pedestrian never even looked up. my brother honked his horn as well to get the pedestrians attention but to no avail. instead of running and leaving his bike there, the pedestrian was hit by the train. my brother saw him fly through the air and land up against a chain link fence. sad situation.
Update 2: A source reports that Powell was actually the victim of another train collision, and that the victim of Monday’s bike-involved collision has not yet been identified.
There’ve been two Metrolink fatalities in OC in the past week. The first was a pedestrian on Friday afternoon; that was Fullerton resident Andrew Powell, who would’ve turned 21 next week. That collision occurred between the Fullerton & Buena Park stations.
Monday’s fatality occurred about 3 miles down Metrolink’s Orange County Line. Southbound Metrolink train 686 had just picked up speed after departing Fullerton station. This section of tracks, between an industrial area & a flood control basin, has a very slight curve, so it’s a crossing the engineer would have sounded on approach. On the south side of La Palma Avenue, it struck a guy pushing his bike on the tracks.
According to Anaheim PD, the victim hasn’t been identified, so his next of kin haven’t been notified yet. There’ll be an autopsy, but the coroner is “kind of backed up right now,” says a clerk, so it may be next week before it’s completed.