SAN DIEGO (CNS) - For a second time in less than three weeks, a driver managed Wednesday to safely bail out of a vehicle stalled directly in the path of an oncoming train near Lindbergh Field.
Shortly after 6 a.m., a motorist failed to navigate a turn and got his car struck on a stretch of rails near Palm and California streets in the Midtown district of San Diego, sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Houser said.
The driver jumped out of the car and frantically signaled the operators of a northbound Amtrak train approaching at about 35 mph, its horn blaring, according to Houser.
The engineer braked, but was unable to stop the locomotive in time to keep it from plowing into and crushing the sedan.
Authorities closed the tracks in the area for about an hour while getting the mangled automobile off the railroad right of way, Houser said. A few Amtrak runs had to be canceled, but passengers were given the option of taking Coaster trains instead.
A similar non-injury accident played out about a dozen blocks to the north on Aug. 28.
About 9:30 a.m. that day, a truck driver stuck in a line of traffic leaped to safety just before a train smashed into his vehicle at a grade crossing on West Washington Street at Pacific Highway, near the eastern edge of San Diego International Airport.
The northbound Amtrak Surfliner hurled the box truck off the roadway and into a railroad-crossing sign, which in turn crashed down on and broke the windshield of a Metropolitan Transit District truck parked on the other side of a fence, authorities said.
A transit worker sitting in the MTS vehicle at the time escaped harm as well.
The driver of the cargo vehicle told reporters he had started crossing the rails on a green light, then found himself blocked in between stationary vehicles when the signal went to red.