A man trying to kill his girlfriend by stopping a car in front of an approaching train was himself killed Monday when the train hit the vehicle and launched it into him as he tried to flee, police said.
The girlfriend survived.
The man drove the car in front of a group of other vehicles stopped at a railroad crossing in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Sunland, Officer Mike Lopez said.
The driver, who was seen arguing with his girlfriend, parked the car on the tracks and jumped out, leaving her behind, Lopez said.
A northbound commuter train hit the rear of the car, hurling it into the man. The girlfriend was taken to the hospital, where she was in stable condition, Lopez said.
"She gets hit by a train and lives. He gets hit by his own car and he dies," Lopez said.
The train was heading from downtown to Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County at the time of the 12:08 p.m. crash, said Denise Tyrrell, a spokeswoman for Metrolink.
There were no injuries on the train, which carried 132 passengers and crew members, Tyrrell said. The train had superficial damage.
The train's speed wasn't immediately known. The limit in the area is 79 mph, Tyrrell said. At that speed, it would take one-third of a mile to stop, she said.
It is highly unusual for someone to survive being struck by a train, Tyrrell said.
"The train to your car is like your car to a soda pop can. It's just not going to be a fair fight," Tyrrell said.
22 May 2007
From ABC News: