CA: Burbank Driver, 79, Dies in Metrolink Train Crash

Sept. 03--The driver whose car collided with a Metrolink train has died of his injuries, police said Wednesday.

Fawaz Khalil, 79, of Burbank, died Tuesday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center shortly after his car was hit by a Metrolink train at San Fernando Boulevard and Buena Vista Street, causing his vehicle to roll several times before slamming into a soundwall. Debris from the crash scattered across nearby busy streets.

Police said Khalil was driving his dark gray Toyota Camry south on Buena Vista at 3:17 p.m. when the accident occurred. The train was going in the same direction.

All lights and signals were working properly, but it appears Khalil tried to beat the train by driving through the gate arms, said Burbank Police Officer Joshua Kendrick, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

"It was unfortunate judgment," Kendrick said.

The collision caused traffic to back up for miles on the nearby 5 Freeway and surface streets.

At least 165 people were on board the Metrolink. None of the cars derailed, but at least six passengers complained of pain and were transported to a nearby hospital. None of their injuries appeared life-threatening, Kendrick said.

The intersection was also the scene of a fatal crash in 2003, in which a truck driver and a Metrolink train collided, killing the driver and injuring 32 passengers.

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