Cell Phone Text Messaging by Engineer Implicated in Deadly California MetroLink Train Crash

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The Los Angeles Metrolink train crash tragedy at Chatsworth which killed 25 and injured another 130 is being blamed on the engineer’s texting SMS messages with a couple of teenage train enthusiasts, causing him to miss a critical red light. The engineer, Robert Sanchez, was among the 25 killed in the crash.

According to the two teens, they had received a text message from Sanchez just a minute before the deadly crash. That message apparently was received from “Rob Sanchez Metro” and read “Yea … usually @ Camarillo.”

Camarillo, California is about 37 miles from the crash site in Chatsworth.

According to Kitty Higgins, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board who was onsite, “They’re two young teenage boys who love trains, apparently rode the train and knew the engineer. And there’s some issue about whether they were texting with him, and that’s what we’re trying to track down.”

In the meantime, the head of California’s Public Utilities Commission, Michael Peevey, has said that he is seeking an emergency order banning train operators from using cell phones.

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