An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that, from its inception in 1993 up to September 2008, 244 people have been killed on Los Angeles’ Metrolink Commuter Rail System. The Times cites Buena Vista Street in Burbank and Sunland Boulevard in Sun Valley as two of the Metrolink’s most dangerous crossings, where multiple drivers have been struck and killed by trains in recent years.
Critics say Metrolink officials have not done enough to develop safety upgrades in the areas where streets cross the railroad tracks, even after major accidents resulting in pedestrian and train passenger deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that poor intersection design and traffic lights contributed to the death of a 63-year-old driver at Buena Vista Street in 2003, even though Metrolink took no responsibility for the incident.
Family members of those killed by Metrolink trains advocate that Metrolink make numerous improvements, including warning systems, redesigned crossings, public safety campaigns, and photo enforcement cameras. To date, little to no upgrading has been done.
In cases where pedestrians or drivers are killed by trains, a personal injury attorney can help. At Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand, we examine the circumstances surrounding the incident, and determine whether the intersection may have been poorly designed or maintained. If so, a city or maintenance agency may be held responsible.