(OXNARD, Calif.) — At least 28 people were injured when a Metrolink commuter train struck a vehicle Tuesday morning in Southern California, authorities said.
The driver of the truck fled the scene, according to police, but was later arrested about a mile from the crash site. The driver was not injured in the crash.
Those injured included people with head trauma and neck and back injuries who were taken to a hospital. Police said at least four people were critically injured.
There have been no fatalities in the crash in which five train cars derailed and three were left on their side, according to Oxnard police. The train was heading towards downtown Los Angeles when it crashed.
Before hitting the truck, the train operator spotted the truck and applied the brakes, according to police. The train was traveling along 2 miles of flat railroad track so the truck was more easily visible.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced it will lead an investigation into the collision.
A spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration confirmed they were sending investigators to the scene as well.
“This morning’s accident on Metrolink’s Ventura County Line is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” said a spokesman for the Federal Railroad Administration. “Federal Railroad Administration investigators are en route to the scene, and they will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the factors that contributed to this accident. Safety must be every railroad’s absolute top priority and we will establish what lapses, if any, occurred and order any necessary corrective actions.”
Deborah Hersman, the president of the National Safety Council and the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said this type of railroad grade crossing has been the site of other train and vehicle collisions across the U.S.
“I think we see way too many of these grade cross crashes across the U.S,” said Hersman. “[We’ve] got to pay attention to this issue to prevent future fatalities and injuries.”
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