The man was struck Sunday morning and succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. (Matthew Hall)

A Metro light rail train struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday morning.

A westbound three-car E Line (Expo) train hit a man at about 6 a.m. in the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. Captain Eric Himler of the Santa Monica Fire Department said paramedics and police officers responded to the scene, extricated the man from underneath the train at 6:38 a.m. and transported him to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

“He was breathing and had a pulse but had sustained serious life-threatening injuries,” Himler said.

Cobarrubias said the man walked out in front of the train as it neared where he was standing. She said it is unknown whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

The coroner’s office on Tuesday identified the man as Derrell Kenneth Burnett Jr., a 57-year-old homeless man.

SMPD closed the 700 block of Colorado and diverted traffic on Lincoln in a two-block radius for four hours during the investigation. Cobarrubias said there were about 10 passengers on the train at the time of the collision, none of whom were injured.

While the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has jurisdiction over the train, stations and tracks, SMPD investigates accidents that occur in Santa Monica intersections.

Two other pedestrians have been killed by the E Line (Expo) since it opened in May 2016.

In January 2019, a pedestrian fell from the 17th Street/Santa Monica College station platform and was dragged by a westbound train to 14th Street.

In November 2017, a pedestrian was struck by a train near 14th Street and Colorado Avenue.

The city of Santa Monica adopted a Vision Zero goal in 2016, joining cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in aiming to eliminate traffic fatalities. The city has promoted the campaign by distributing advertising with the slogan “Take the Friendly Road,” altered the crossing signals at more than 50 intersections to improve pedestrian safety and painted 19 miles of bikeways green for greater visibility.

Santa Monica saw a spike in traffic fatalities the year after Vision Zero was adopted — nine people died in 2017, up from an average of four to five per year between 2006 and 2016 — but there were no fatalities reported in 2018, city officials said last year.

On average, 70% of those that died since 2006 were pedestrians and bicyclists, officials said. People 55 and older comprised almost half of pedestrian fatalities and injuries but are only 27% of the population. Fatalities were mostly caused by drivers who failed to yield, exceeded speed limits or drove under the influence.

This article was updated Jan. 29 at 9:06 a.m.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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