A Californian commuter train bound for Los Angeles slammed into a truck at Oxnard. It is not known why the truck was parked along the tracks. The driver was found walking a few miles away in a disoriented condition, Assistant Police Chief Jason Benitez said, adding the driver seemingly took a wrong turn.
The mystery remains as to why the driver left the truck vacant along the tracks. A criminal wrongdoing is not ruled out by the authority.
The incident took place at 5:45 a.m. PST (8:45 AM EST). Three double-decker Metrolink rail cars running at 79 miles per hour overturned after the impact.
Around 50 were injured, while some are critical. Twenty eight out of the fifty injured, including the train operator, were sent to local hospitals. The operator, suffering from chest injury affecting his chest and lungs, is under intensive care at Ventura County Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Sheila Murphy. The operator could communicate to the doctors when he was transferred to the hospital.
The accident could have been far worse had modern technology was not in place, Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said.
“I think we can safely say that the technology worked. It definitely minimized the impact. It would have been a very serious collision, it would have been much worse without it,” he said.
The train operator used emergency brakes moments before the collision. Over and above, the train was equipped with safety features, helping it absorb the energy at the time of colluding.
The accident resulted in major delays due to traffic across Ventura County, compelling commuters to ride buses. Oxnard is a prosperous coastal city with a population of roughly 200,000. It is located about 45 miles North West of Los Angeles.