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Freight train strikes big rig trailer in Montebello

November 13, 2012 |  8:11 am

A Union Pacific freight train clipped the trailer of a big rig truck in Montebello on Tuesday morning, sending it careening into an auto body shop and causing delays for commuters using the Riverside train line.

The train struck the back of the trailer, which was carrying frozen food as it was crossing tracks traveling south on Vail Avenue at Mines Avenue at 6:06 a.m., Montebello police said. The trailer was crumpled and partially overturned as it was thrown into the Fleet Body Works auto body shop on Mines Avenue. 

Police say there were no injuries but major damage was done to the auto body shop.

Metrolink officials say the crash temporarily shut down access to the platform at Montebello Commerce station. Travelers were being diverted to other stops and then bused to the station.

"As soon as they clear up the crash site, we'll hopefully be able to gain access to the track again," said Scott Johnson, a MetroLink spokesman.

All trains on the Riverside line were expected to experience 40-minute delays. Union Pacific and police were investigating the cause of the accident.

"There was some shattered glass that came from the truck, but fortunately there were no injuries to the crew," said Aaron Hunt, a Union Pacific spokesman. "Obviously they were a little shaken up, though."

The train, which was carrying cargo from the Port of Long Beach to Chicago, was not significantly damaged and continued along its route by 6:30 a.m.

"It did not derail so we were able to move it along pretty quickly," Hunt said.


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Photo: A heavily damaged trailer sits next to the tracks after it was struck by a freight train in Montebello on Tuesday morning. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times