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At approximately 7:30 a.m. on August 31, a produce truck crossing the trolley tracks was struck by a Coaster train at Washington Street and Pacific Highway.

The train, carrying 160 passengers, struck the truck; another vehicle, a car, became wedged under its trailer. The driver of the truck, Rafael Navarette, said he saw the train coming toward him and he had nowhere to go because of the traffic . He was also eight feet over the trolley track when his truck was struck by the train, sending its trailer into the surrounding vehicles and into a black car, which became pinned underneath the truck.

The passengers of the vehicle were a family of four — father, mother, and their two daughters. The mother and daughters were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries. A doctor was at the scene (crossing the tracks at the time) and was able to attend to the family until paramedics arrived.

Traffic was snarled for hours and the train passengers were taken away by trolleys about 30 minutes after the crash. Several other vehicles were involved in the accident but no one else seemed to be injured.

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Comments

Javajoe25 Sept. 1, 2012 @ 10:23 p.m.

So, you're driving a tractor-trailer, and you come to a railroad crossing, and you see there is not enough room on the other side for you to get completely across the tracks....and you go anyway? Uhhhhh.....what kind of mental illness is that? Pull this a--hole's license and make the road safer for all of us! A family of four could have been killed. Un-frikken-believable!

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Twister Sept. 1, 2012 @ 11:55 p.m.

That might be what happened, but trucks can get trapped by cars changing lanes right in front of them. When that happens, the truck should be allowed to shove the cars. There should be no lane-changing allowed anywhere near RR tracks, and such maneuvers should carry HUGE FINES. Of course, enforcement is needed. What a great place for video cameras, eh?

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Javajoe25 Sept. 2, 2012 @ 6:55 p.m.

Well, it got my attention.

Twister, I still think the driver of the truck is at fault, and the reason I say that is because in the article the driver says he "had no where to go because of traffic." Not, "some SOB cut in front of me and I couldn't get across the tracks," which is what I would think he would have said right away if he could. It seems he crossed hoping the traffic would move and he could get completely across the tracks, but it didn't....and kablooey! Really poor judgement. The kind that usually precedes horrific accidents. Fortunately, no one was killed in this one. Next one could be a lot worse.

And as much as I am against increased surveillance of citizens, this is one place that I would say they need cameras. Too many crashs, pedestrian fatalities, and traffic snafus occur at these railroad crossings and why they don't have cameras there already is beyond me (unless they do?).

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Twister Sept. 8, 2012 @ 12:11 a.m.

I just went through one of the worst crossings of this kind, the Taylor Street crossing near Old Town, where this lane changing has happened to me. What is needed are lane barricades and double-stripes to prevent the lane changing. It's already against the law to change lanes in an intersection, but most drivers don't know about it.

Driver's who have just been in accidents are often poor witnesses, so the truck-driver's testimony to the officers at the scene may not have been complete. The real answer is that we don't know the details, but the possibility that cars pulled in front of the truck, trapping it is not only feasible, it's a frequent phenomenon. That means that such a case is not only possible, it stands a good chance of being probable.

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