Man dies as freight train hits truck in Riverside; Metrolink delayed
A freight train struck and killed a man in Riverside, who investigators say appeared to be committing suicide when he positioned himself on Metrolink tracks and remained in his truck.
The accident has delayed Metrolink trains since the crash occurred around 5 a.m., blocking both sets of tracks near the Pierce Street crossing between Metrolink's Riverside and La Sierra stations.
Metrolink spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt said delays have lasted between 30 minutes and two hours and affected between 10 and 15 trains. Effected routes include the 800 line from the Inland Empire to Orange County, the 91 trains from Riverside to Los Angeles, and the 683, 685 and 687 trains from Orange County to Los Angeles.
Delays are expected to continue for at least “a couple more hours” as authorities continue to clear the scene, according to Leon Phillips, a spokesman with the Riverside Police Department.
Phillips said a westbound freight train was traveling near the Pierce Street crossing when a single male occupant of a white 1994 Toyota pickup drove around the crossing arms and stopped on the tracks in the path of the train.
"We don’t know if the car was disabled or if he stayed there," Phillips said. "We're not aware of any other injuries."
Phillips did not provide any details on the victim, but said the coroner is on the scene.
Coffelt urged Metrolink customers to go online and check Twitter for updates.
-- Matt Stevens