Woman struck, killed by train in La Verne

LA VERNE >> A woman died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a commuter train in La Verne, authorities said.
The westbound Metrolink train struck the woman about 4:20 p.m. on a set of train tracks just west of San Dimas Canyon Road, alongside Arrow Highway, La Verne police Sgt. Cory Leeper said.
Upon arriving to investigate reports of a pedestrian being struck by a train, “officers found a woman on the side of the tracks who was confirmed deceased at the scene by La Verne (Fire Department) paramedics,” Leeper said in a written statement.
No injuries were reported to any of the 93 passengers on board the train, he said.
The woman’s identity was not available pending positive identification and notification of family by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, Leeper said. The investigation was ongoing.
The train was delayed at the scene for about 40 minutes before returning to operation, police said.
Delays of up to 45 minutes continued on the line into the early evening, according to Metrolink.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is encouraged to call La Verne police at 909-596-1913.

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Man fatally struck by train in Covina identified

COVINA >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of a 60-year-old Covina man fatally struck my a Metrolink train.
Michael Martin Olson died at the scene of Tuesday’s 7:20 a.m. incident on a set of train tracks near Sunflower Avenue and Covina Boulevard, Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
Officials initially said it appeared Olson stepped in front of the westbound commuter train, but it was unclear whether the death was a suicide or an accident.
An autopsy was yet to be performed Wednesday, Winter said.

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Engineer sent text message 22 seconds before fatal crash

From the Associated Press:

Federal investigators say the engineer of a Metrolink commuter train sent a text message 22 seconds before the collision with a freight train in Chatsworth last month that killed 25 people.

The National Transportation Safety Board said today that cell phone records of Robert Sanchez show he received a text message a minute and 20 seconds before the crash, and sent one about a minute later.

Investigators are looking into whether Sanchez was distracted when he ran through a red signal and collided with a Union Pacific train Sept. 12.

The records also showed that Sanchez sent 24 text messages and received 21 messages over a two-hour period during his morning shift. During his afternoon shift, he received seven and sent five messages from his cell phone.

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