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Train crash in California caused by suspected drunk driver

A Metro Gold Line train hit a Toyota Corolla that had driven under the railroad crossing arms in Pasadena on Oct. 18 at around 11:30 a.m., and the authorities detained the 57-year-old man driving the Toyota on suspicion of driving under the influence. The collision took place between South Arroyo Parkway and Raymond Avenue on California Boulevard, and the driver and his passenger suffered injuries in the accident.

Authorities reported that the Toyota driver traveled west from Arroyo Parkway, drove under the railroad crossing arms and tried to cross the tracks. The Metro train was headed south and broad-sided the car on the passenger side. A witness on the train allegedly saw the Toyota driver removing beer bottles from his vehicle and trying to hide them in the bushes, but the authorities did find beer bottles in his vehicle anyway.

The driver of the car and his 58-year-old male passenger both went to the hospital after the crash. The driver may have received only bumps and bruises while the passenger suffered more serious injuries, and no one on the train was hurt. The Toyota driver was taken to Los Angeles and was held at the Inmate Reception Center on $100,000 bail.

The state of California takes DUI charges very seriously, and even a first conviction could result in jail time, fines and a license suspension. As a result, people who have been charged with driving under the influence may find it advisable to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Potential elements in a defense strategy could include a challenge to the validity of the traffic stop that led to the arrest.

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