The car, which belonged to Perez's niece, was nearly smashed in half
and pushed about 50 feet, Lt. Robert Giles said. Perez was probably
thrown farther than that, he added.
Perez and his niece were driving in Sherman Oaks around 10 a.m., when
the niece got out of the car to talk to some friends, Giles said. When
she turned around, both her uncle and her car had disappeared.
Around 3:40 p.m., Perez somehow got the car stuck on the tracks at
Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Boulevard. As he tried to free the
vehicle, the crossing arms came down and a slow-moving freight train
approached, Giles said.
Perez apparently misjudged the distance of the train from the car and
he was inside the vehicle when the train hit the left rear fender, Giles
Perez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Giles
said. The results of a blood-alcohol test have not been released.