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Metrolink conductor: Warning light was green, not red

December 4, 2008 |  5:34 pm

The only surviving crewman aboard a Metrolink train that slammed into a freight train in Chatsworth in September has told investigators that a track-side warning light just south of the crash site was green, his attorneys said today.

Conductor Robert Heldenbrand told investigators that he saw the green signal from the depot just before the train pulled out of the station, said San Dimas attorney John Gilbert.

"He checked the platform prior to the [train] doors closing to make sure there were no more passengers. That's when he observed the green light," said Gilbert, who was with Heldenbrand when he was interviewed by investigators.

Heldenbrand's account matches statements from three observers who say they saw that the light was green as the train left the Chatsworth station. After their comments appeared in The Times, the witnesses were interviewed by federal investigators.

Read the rest of the story here.

--Robert J. Lopez and Rich Connell