Deadly Chatsworth Metrolink crash investigations coming to a close

Legal news for California train accident attorneys. Investigation into fatal head-on crash that left 25 people dead and 135 others injured is ending.

California train accident lawyers alerts- Investigations into a fatal crash between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific train are coming to a close.

Los Angeles, CA—The 16-month investigation into the fatal head-on collision between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train that killed 25 people and injured 135 others may finally be coming to a close. One key issue has remained, what was the color of the traffic signal at the time of the crash? The issue is currently under a heated debate by federal authorities and witnesses, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Eyewitnesses have stated publically that the light was green when the Metrolink 111 careened toward the fatal crash with the Union Pacific train. Records also showed that the conductor radioed the Metrolink engineer before the train left the Chatsworth station, telling him that the light was green and the train was clear to leave. In addition, a Chatsworth station security guard and two railroading enthusiasts who often were at the station, informed investigators that they saw the light green that day. The conductor reportedly went out onto the platform to look at the light and then radioed the engineer “highball on a green,” which meant the track was clear up ahead.

However, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials are claiming the exact opposite. Investigations conducted by NTSB are strongly suggesting that the light was actually red at the time. The engineer was reportedly sending and receiving text messages as he was operating the train, when he became distracted and ran through a red light. The signal history data, the position of the junction switch near the point of impact, extensive testing and cellphone text records are all mounting evidence that shows the Metrolink engineer, Robert M. Sanchez, was distracted and ran through a red signal, killing himself and 24 other people that day.

The fatal and tragic crash had prompted landmark federal legislation, which will require railroads to enact new and improved safety measures, and install a high-tech collision avoidance system on all U.S. trains. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but is expected to come to a close soon.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California train accident lawyers.