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Metrolink engineers probably caused 2008 Rialto train crash, NTSB says

April 28, 2011 |  6:48 pm

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.

RELATED:

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.

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