Metro train kills pedestrian walking across tracks in South L.A., closing Vernon Station

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Metro light rail train Friday afternoon in South Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The collision happened around 1:45 p.m. near the above-ground Vernon Station, where twin tracks run alongside Long Beach Avenue, according to the Fire Department.

The person was walking across the tracks and hit by a southbound Metro A Line train near the station, according to the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

"Metro extends its heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s family and friends," said Dave Sotero, a spokesperson for Metro.

The pedestrian appeared to be an adult male, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

When firefighters arrived, they found the man fully underneath the train but not trapped or pinned down by the understructure, Humphrey said.

"The firefighters actually crawled beneath the very narrow area beneath the train to discreetly, and in a dignified manner, make the removal of remains," Humphrey said.

The man was declared dead at the scene, he said.

A spokesperson for the L.A. County medical examiner said the case had not been reported to the office as of Friday afternoon.

There were 42 passengers aboard the three-carriage train, according to the LAFD. None were injured.

A video posted by the LAFD on X shows a helicopter flying overhead as emergency personnel attend to the scene. Onlookers peer over from beyond yellow police tape.

Vernon Station was closed Friday, with trains bypassing the station. Metro officials said the agency would be implementing a bus bridge between Washington and Slauson stations until further notice.

Metro urged people to observe rail safety guidance.

"Pedestrians and vehicles should only cross tracks at marked crossings with signals to help ensure safe passage," Sotero said.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the collision.

The death is the latest tragedy for the beleaguered Metro transit system, which has experienced a series of recent attacks on buses and trains, including stabbings, killings and fights among passengers and drivers.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass recently announced that police deployment was being increased and that Metro was trying to improve the system in anticipation of the 2028 Summer Olympics, including using transit ambassadors to assist riders, adding transit security officers and increasing cleaning at certain stations.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.