Express Yourself

About anything and everything on the planet

September 20, 2008

Train Engineer in Fatal Crash Was Text Messaging

A commuter train wreck that caused 25 deaths, including that of the conductor, may have been caused by text messaging. Apparently Robert Sanchez, a 46 Metrolink train engineer may have been text messaging at the time of the crash.

Robert Sanchez was sending text messaging the day of the crash to two teenagers. The question is whether or not he was sending them when he did not stop the train for a red light. The brakes on the train that Sanchez was driving were not applied when it slammed into a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth.

Federal investigators are going to take a look at cell phone records for two teenagers and the engineer that was driving the train. 24 bodies were found at the crash site and another person perished later on. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the text message angle. Two teenagers that said they had contact with Sanchez before the collision are cooperating.

Metrolink drivers are not allowed to use their cell phones while driving. One of the teens, who is a 15 year old train enthusiast said he had been talking about trains with Sanchez and received a text message a minute before the crash occurred. However, the investigators have not been able to find the alleged cell phone that Sanchez was using at the scene of the crime.

A Metrolink spokeswoman who made a statement saying that the crash was the result of human error, resigned. She also acknowledged that they believed that their engineer failed to stop at a signal. Metrolink later came out and said that her statement was premature, but supported it eventually.

The train had 220 passengers on it the crash occurred at 4:30 in the northwest suburb of Los Angeles, Chatsworth. The train was at a curve when the crash occurred and the speed limit on that part of track was 40 mph. At the time of the crash the train was going 42 mph.

In response to the crash, Micheal R. Peevey, the president of California Public Utilities Commission came out and said he would propose an emergency order banning all cellular devices while operating trains. Of course, this comes too little too late for the passengers of the Metrolink train that were killed in this tragic crash.

Text messaging while driving is a growing problem. Just as many place have banned talking on cell phones while driving because of car accidents, text messaging need to be regulated in some way as well. Just as you have to have a hands free device to talk on a cell phone when driving in many places, there needs to be similar rules about text messaging. Nothing was so important that this man who was conducting a train needed to be text messaging. Additional safety measures must be taken to help make sure that this does not happen again.

In our technologically advanced world, computers and communication devices have made it possible for us to chat in a variety of ways. But do we really need to be that in touch with one another? Are there times, like when driving, that we just do not need to be text messaging or chating on the phone? Absolutely. Unfortunately too many of us don’t recognize that.

Similar Posts:

Post a Comment