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Drunk motorist blocks Gold Line tracks in South Pasadena

August 28, 2009 | 10:13 pm


A suspected drunk driver drove his car down the Gold Line railway in South Pasadena Friday night, traveling about 300 feet before his vehicle’s tires dug into the gravel on the side of the tracks, authorities said.

“Witnesses were yelling at him, ‘Get out!’ He was pretty intoxicated,” said South Pasadena police Sgt. Robert Bartl. “He opens the driver’s door and falls straight to the ground. He tried to stand up and he could barely walk on his own.”

The call to police department came about 7:30 p.m. The four-door late model Toyota Camry had gotten on the track at the intersection of Pasadena Avenue and Monterey Road, Bartl said. He said a South Pasadena police dispatcher made a call and Gold Line trains were alerted about a car sitting in a fenced in section of the southbound tracks.

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s transit service bureau responded and took the man into custody. For a while trains were diverted to another track, but eventually the car was towed away, said Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Hinkle.

“There were police cars all over the place,” said Henk Friezer, 65, a photographer who happened to be jogging in the neighborhood. “There were people trying to figure out how to get the car out of there because it was really wedged in there. I’ve never seen anything like it.” 

Metrolink workers went to the scene to make sure the track was not damaged, Hinkle said. the man's name was not released late Friday night.
Bartl said whoever that whoever the “very inebriated” man was, he’s fortunate to live another day.

“He’s very lucky,” he said. “And he’s lucky he didn’t kill someone.”

-- Hector Becerra

Photo by Henk Friezer