Man Faces Trial for Fatal Calif. Derailment

LOS ANGELES — A man authorities say is responsible for a fatal January 2005 Metrolink train wreck apologized for his actions, according to media reports.

Juan Manuel Alvarez is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges. His trial could continue until July.

Police initially said Alvarez parked his SUV on the Metrolink tracks with the intent of killing himself, but changed his mind, left his SUV on the tracks and watched the wreck unfold. However, prosecutors are challenging whether Alvarez was trying to commit suicide when he parked his SUV on the tracks and now say he may “have even been carrying out a ritual of Aztec human sacrifice,” The Los Angeles Daily News reported.

“I feel terrible and I ask for forgiveness,” Alvarez said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “I believe some of the family members are here today. I am sorry for what happened; I never meaned to hurt any of your loved ones. That could have been my mom or my dad.”

At about 6:05 a.m., Jan. 26, 2005, the two Metrolink trains — Nos. 901 and 100 –sideswiped each other; both trains derailed near Glendale. One of the trains also struck a Union Pacific freight train.

— News Wire