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Metrolink engineers probably caused 2008 Rialto train crash, NTSB says

Metrolink engineers were probably to blame for a 2008 accident in Rialto in which a commuter train scraped a freight carrier, federal investigators said Thursday. Metrolink train crash

An engineer and assistant engineer failed to stop the train on time and ran a red light, raking the side of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in a final report on the accident.

The accident, which caused $25,000 in damage, came two months after a catastrophic crash involving a Metrolink train and freight train in Chatsworth.

That Metrolink train also ran a red light and smashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train, killing 25 people and injuring 135 others. It was one of the deadliest rail accidents in California history.

Federal investigators concluded that the engineer was receiving and sending text messages on his cellphone, including one that was sent seconds before the collision.


Metrolink, freight trains scrape each other in Rialto

Times story and photo gallery - Chatsworth Metrolink disaster

— Robert J. Lopez

Twitter: @LAJourno

Photo: Crews work on damaged train. Credit: National Transportation Safety Board.

Comments () | Archives (6)

as i recall, the engineer who was texting died in the crash, so at least he got the consequences of his actions. Really. Texting while conducting a train? Unfortunately, 25 other people died and more than one hundered were injured...and it wasn't their fault at all.

For those of you who don't like the new higher (but not high enough!) fines for using a hand-held phone while driving a car or riding a bike...THIS is why the fines ought to be raised higher. people who think they're so smart, so coordinated, so awesome often create situations where others are killed or injured.
Get some common sense and keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel (or handlebars) and stop putting the rest of our lives in danger just so that you can chat with Aunt Millie or close that BIG DEAL and hit your numbers this month!

There should be a camera in the cab, and screen in all the cars so the passengers can watch. It's just like on the bus; we can watch the bus driver and see if he is texting while driving, why not Metrolink drivers?

There is NEVER a reason to drop everything and answer a cell phone or text. Even if a person next to you suddenly collapses in cardiac arrest, you still have from two to six MINUTES to think and take action.

If there are two men in the Locomotive or "Cab-Car"
I have no problem with the one not running the train being on a cell, blackberry or laptop
But if you are alone
Dont even think about it!
Amtraks Southwest Chief and Sunset Limited out of Los Angles have two in the Locomotive whereas all other trains have only one

The 2008 Rialto crash had nothing to do with texting. Why mention the Chatsworth crash? Seems like a red herring for sensationalism.

These 2 accidents are just one of the many motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted drivers. After all, if your eyes are not on the road or track, how will you be able to see the red light? Or even a pedestrian crossing or a vehicle just ahead of yours? Too many Americans underestimate the dangers of driver distraction until they find themselves causing a crash on their own or caught up in one caused by texting/talking or otherwise, distracted driver.



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