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Car involved in Metrolink train crash had pulled over for ambulance

December 23, 2009 |  2:01 pm

Two people, including an infant, were critically injured today when a Metrolink commuter train collided with a pickup truck that was knocked into its path after crashing into a car in the San Fernando Valley, authorities said.

The crashes occurred about 7 a.m., temporarily bringing train service to a halt on the Antelope Valley Line at the height of the morning rush.

Witnesses told investigators that the pickup truck was heading north on North San Fernando Road when it rear-ended a Toyota Corolla, which had pulled over near Branford Street for an ambulance approaching from the other direction, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The sedan was knocked off the road and onto a dirt strip running alongside the railway track, she said. The pickup landed on the track, was struck by the train and ended up on its roof a short distance from the sedan.

The four occupants of the two vehicles -- a man, a woman and an infant in the sedan and a man in the pickup -- were taken to a hospital for treatment, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

The infant and the pickup driver were critically injured, Humphrey said.

Eight of the 36 train passengers complained of minor injuries, Starr said. Six of them were treated at the scene and two were taken to the hospital at their request.

Metrolink spokeswoman Angie Starr identified the train as Antelope Valley Line No. 201, which departed Los Angeles for Lancaster at 6:35 a.m. It remained upright and on the tracks after the collision.

Metrolink provided buses between Newhall and Los Angeles until rail service was restored about 10:40 a.m., she said. The train’s passengers were also bused to their destinations, and the train was returned to the Central Maintenance Facility in Glendale.

-- Alexandra Zavis

Photos: Metrolink train crash