Train Travelers Stranded on Christmas Eve

By Nicole Gonzales and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Dec 24, 2012  |  Updated 9:35 PM PDT
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Train Travelers Stranded on Christmas Eve

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Dozens of passengers were stranded Christmas Eve after an Amtrak train struck and killed a pedestrian in San Clemente.

The collision shut down train operations for hours affecting passengers coming to San Diego.

“Now we just want to get home. That's all we're trying to do is just get home,” said Daniel Pimentel.

He was one of those who waited for hours to get to Orange County.

Passengers said there was a lack of communication between train operators and those waiting to get to their destination.

“It was more frustrating just trying to figure out what's going on and the next steps they were taking because no one really had any information,” said Dennis Cullison.

Slowly, news spread that an Amtrak train in San Clemente killed a 54-year-old man.

With tracks shut down in both directions, Orange County buses helped Metrolink passengers to Oceanside and picked up riders going north.

Through the confusion and frustration, passengers tried to keep it all in perspective this Christmas Eve.

“I was shocked that somebody got hit, especially around the holidays. My best wishes to their families,” said passenger Eduardo Rosado.

“We're just grateful that we have somewhere we're going that we can be with our family and enjoy the holidays still,” said traveler Sandra Appling.

The Orange County sheriff's department hasn't determined if the collision was an accident. However, witnesses told one local newspaper that the man walked onto the tracks.

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