There are so many traffic accidents in Orange County that you can generally predict the outcome 99 percent of the time based solely on the particulars. Take yesterday morning's collision at a railroad crossing on Lampson, east of Western in Garden Grove. An 80-year-old man on a scooter that performs like a motorcycle. An approaching Union Pacific freight train. Lights flashing, bells clanging, the signal arm dropping--and gramps isn't stopping.
Lord, this is going to end ugly.
It did, but not as ugly as you'd assume from that set-up.
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As the train approached slowly just after 10 a.m., crewmen recognized the gruesome events unfolding and hit the brakes, stopping in the middle of the crossing without blocking eastbound auto traffic on Lampson.
That's the direction Westminster's John Jones was heading on his Suzuki Bergman 650 scooter. And despite the bells, lights, signal arm and mammoth hunk of metal that had just come to an abrupt stop, he kept right on riding.
Witnesses told cops the elderly man collided with the signal arm, forcing his ejection from the scooter. That's still a potentially deadly scenario, but Jones only sustained moderate facial injuries. He was later taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.
The train crew hung around to provide statements to investigators. One can imagine there were a lot of heads shaking in disbelief.