California Highway Patrol investigators have reviewed video and audiotape of an April 18 train collision with a car near Guadalupe that claimed the lives of a 26-year-old Santa Maria man and his 1-year-old daughter.
According to Officer J.W. Townsen, the Union Pacific/Amtrak video shows Antonio Garcia Ortiz’s 2004 Ford Focus parked along the crossing threshold as the train traveled south.
“The engineer sounded the horn numerous times prior to the crossing and continued as he approached the crossing,” Townsen wrote in a report. “When the train was within 500 to 1,000 feet, the driver (Ortiz) backed the white Ford Focus directly onto the tracks and stopped.
“The engineer applied the train’s emergency brake, but did not have sufficient time to stop. The train struck the left rear passenger door and ejected both occupants of the Ford.”
Ortiz was pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter, Azulmi G. Montealegre, later died at a Santa Maria hospital. The investigation into the crash continues.