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NTSB to consider final report on Chatsworth rail crash

January 14, 2010 |  4:15 pm

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public hearing next week to consider a final report on the deadly 2008 Chatsworth Metrolink collision that killed 25 people and injured more than 100 others.

Federal safety investigators have said the Metrolink engineer failed to stop at a red signal before slamming into an oncoming Union Pacific freight train in the September 2008 disaster.

On the day of the crash, engineer Robert M. Sanchez used his cellphone to send and receive text messages, including one he sent just before colliding with the freight carrier, according to evidence presented in March during an NTSB hearing.

The text messages showed that Sanchez had allowed unauthorized rail enthusiasts to sometimes ride in his cab, a serious violation of safety regulations.

The final report will include findings by board investigators, a probable cause and a list of safety recommendations. It will be presented during a day-long hearing Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

—Robert J. Lopez