1370 Ontario St. - Mezzanine, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Secretary-Treasurers
Information
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Man pleads innocent in Calif. train wreck

(The Associated Press distributed the following article on February 15.)

LOS ANGELES -- The man accused of causing a deadly train wreck during an aborted suicide attempt last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 11 counts of murder that could bring the death penalty.

Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, parked an SUV on the tracks Jan. 26 but lost his nerve and jumped out in time to see two commuter trains crash in suburban Glendale, authorities said.

Investigators said he stabbed himself and slashed his wrists after the crash, but no injuries could be seen in court Tuesday.

Alvarez also pleaded not guilty to arson. Authorities said he poured gasoline on himself before the crash in another suicide attempt, but then changed his mind.

Defense attorney Eric Chase said he believes Alvarez was suffering from an untreated mental illness. ``He was hearing voices, and he was having auditory and visual hallucinations. So there's no question that there was some mental illness,'' Chase said.

Alvarez has been receiving medication since his arrest and is now ``less suicidal,'' Chase said, adding that his client ``expresses remorse and a great deal of sorrow for the damage that was caused by his actions.''

The defendant was ordered held without bail pending a March 16 preliminary hearing to decide if there is enough evidence to try him.

Alvarez' wife, Carmelita, described her husband as an insecure man who became despondent because he believed he could not provide for his family.

He told her he intended to take his own life but had a vision that made him change his mind. ``He was there, and just out of nowhere, he basically, like, saw a light,'' she said. ``He said he felt a presence from God telling him to 'get away.'''

The first legal claim stemming from the wreck was filed Monday against the Metrolink transit agency by Rita Kay Tutino, whose husband, sheriff's Deputy James Tutino, was killed in the accident.

The claim, a required step before a lawsuit can be filed, alleged Metrolink caused Tutino's death because it used locomotives to push rather than pull the train cars.

A call to a Metrolink spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Tutino is seeking unspecified damages.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

© 1997-2014 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Safety Task Force Hotline
800-306-5414

Decertification Helpline
800-393-2716

DAILY HEADLINES

Teamster Nation: Get the latest updates in the War on Workers
BLET: Overworked engineers putting SEPTA passengers at risk
Amtrak delivers strong FY 2014 financial results
Railroads sound alarm ahead of Chicago gridlock
BNSF says new testing and maintenance underway near Casselton
Opinion: Don't be quick to bash rail, an engine of the economy
Union Pacific CFO sells $1.83 million in company stock
Union Pacific Director sells $1.49 million in company stock
Amtrak expects record ridership this Thanksgiving
County commissioners approve funds for UP veterans train wreck trial
Lac-Megantic property owners receive compensation installment from Quebec
Oil by rail terminal would be largest in U.S.
Part 1: North Dakota took on the oversight of a multibillion dollar oil industry with a regulatory system built on trust, warnings and second chances
Part 2: After an unusual land deal, a giant spill and a tanker train explosion, anxiety began to ripple across the North Dakota prairie
Railroad Retirement annuities and pensions from work not covered by Social Security or Railroad Retirement

More Headlines


Enter your e-mail address to receive BLET news updates.

Subscribe  Unsubscribe