HomePublicationBurbankPolice Investigate Metrolink Pedestrian Death

Police Investigate Metrolink Pedestrian Death

By Gavin J. Quinton
Glendale News-Press

A person was struck and killed by a southbound Metrolink train running between the Glendale and Burbank stations on Thursday, the second incident on the same rail line in less than a month.
A Glendale Police Department official said that an investigation was underway after an unidentified person was fatally injured at about 10:30 a.m. Information was not immediately available regarding the age or gender of the fatally injured person, who was at the Doran Street crossing in Glendale when struck by the train, according to Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson.
The collision occurred between the Burbank-Downtown Station and the Glendale Station by southbound train No. 112 on the Ventura County Line, Johnson said.
Tracks were closed between the Burbank-Downtown and Glendale stations, and the closure affected Metrolink trains on the Ventura County Line and the Antelope Valley Line, as well as the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.
Last month’s pedestrian collision occurred on April 9, and was deemed a suicide by the L.A. County coroner’s office. That man was struck by a Lancaster-bound Metrolink Train 209 near San Fernando Road and Brazil Street, also between the Glendale and Burbank-Downtown stations, according to Metrolink. That is about a half mile down the tracks from the location of Thursday’s collision. The man died at the scene.
According to data published by the Federal Railroad Administration, California leads the nation in railroad fatalities, with 48 deaths in 2023. Fourteen of those deaths were attributed to Amtrak trains, which operates Metrolink.
Johnson said all railroad incidents are preventable and are either related to the victim’s negligence or suicide.
“Metrolink continually works to communicate to the community, riders and the general public that people need to be aware anytime they’re around the tracks or at intersections,” Johnson said. “Obviously, trespassing is a crime, but we are concerned with the bigger picture issues that result in injury and loss of life.”
Metrolink has invested significant resources into suicide prevention, rail safety education and awareness, and technology, Johnson said. Recently, Metrolink received funding for a track intrusion detection system.
“This is one example of Metrolink trying to proactively use technologies to keep people off of the right of way. And if, for some reason, they still find their way onto the tracks or along the right of way, this system would allow the engineers of the trains advance notice to either slow or stop their trains,” he said.
Homeless encampments near train tracks are related to increased cases of death or injury, said Johnson. In fact, he noted, in areas where law enforcement has identified higher rates of homelessness, the rates of pedestrian-train injuries and fatalities are higher.
“We recognize that homeless encampments, or people living near or using rights of way as a thoroughfare, or actually as a place to live, can lead to dangerous situations involving trains,” he said.
The pedestrian fatality on Thursday is still being investigated, and a cause of death will likely be determined by the L.A. County coroner’s office in the next 60 days.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

First published in the May 4 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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