Metrolink federal hearing confirms engineer warned about cellphone!

NTSB federal panel hears Connex Railroad testimony about fatal Metrolink crash. Los Angeles personal injury lawyers.

Los Angeles, CA (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) www.ntsb.gov heard testimony in Washington D.C., on Tuesday, regarding the conduct of the engineer who died while operating the fatal Chatsworth Metrolink commuter train crash. Robert M. Sanchez was the engineer, who was operating the train September 12, 2008, when he allegedly ran a red signal light and crashed into a Union Pacific freight train killing himself, 24 passengers, and injuring 135 as reported by the L.A. Times on Tuesday.

The NTSB panel heard testimony in Washington D.C. from Rick Dahl, a supervisor with Connex Railroad. Los Angeles’ Metrolink commuter rail contracts their train operators and workers from Connex Railroad. Dahl testified he had warned Sanchez on two separate occasions about violating railroad policy regarding cell phone use. It is a serious violation for train engineers to use their cell phones while operating a moving train. The supervisor also testified Sanchez’s phone was found on in his bag in 2006, but he was not observed by supervisors of using the phone. Shortly before the Chatsworth accident, Dahl warned Sanchez, a second time, after a conductor reported seeing Sanchez using the cellphone while at work.

The testimony remains confusing because there have been contradictory reports from four witnesses and the surviving Metrolink conductor about the color of the rail signal. They all claim, the rail signal was green and not red when the train failed to switch lines. The federal panel remains hearing testimony and the investigation is ongoing.

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Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.