Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confirmed: Metrolink Engineer Was Texting Before Fatal Crash

Special thanks to katprint who notified T&T about this latest report.

The Associated Press is reporting that Federal authorities have confirmed the engineer operating the doomed train, Robert Sanchez, 46, was texting two teens within a minute of the crash. When the allegations surfaced that Sanchez might have been texting while operating the train, The National Transportation Safety Board requested his cell phone records. As of today, the NTSB has not revealed how many messages were found.

Twenty-five fatalities, including Sanchez occurred in the wreck and over 130 passengers were injured.

In May 2002, a cell phone contributed to the crash of two freight trains near Clarendon, Texas. One engineer was killed and operators on the other train sustained critical injuries.

As a result of the federal findings, in an emergency meeting today the California Public Utilities Commission placed a ban on texting on the job.



Anonymous said...

Hey Sprocket - thanks for the 'tour' of the train crash site - I know EXACTLY where that happened, as my parents used to live in Northridge, right off of Devonshire and Reseda... so am familiar with the area. Also I heard of another Metrolink train hitting a bus this morning near downtown L.A.... geez....


Katprint said...

I am married to a transportation engineer, and I worked as an insurance defense attorney for about a decade in truck/train/bus/misc. accident cases. Both of us are absolutely dumbstruck at the foolishness of a train engineer texting away, ignoring red signal lights, as the train goes barreling down the track. The new PUC prohibitions are a good start, but this needs to be a serious criminal offense like DUI.