The Train Wreck and Text Messaging–A Deadly Combination

On Friday, September 12th, there was a deadly train collision north of Los Angeles, California.  At least 25 people have died, and many of the injured are in critical condition.

A Metrolink commuter train travelling north out of L.A.’s Union Station collided head-on with a southbound freight train in Chatsworth.  Both trains were travelling about 40 mph.

Metrolink says that its engineer ingored red stop signals.  In essence, Metrolink has accepted responsibility for the accident.  Some newspapers have reported that the engineer had been text messaging a friend very shortly before the collision.  This may explain why the engineer missed the red lights.  In any event, this unfortunate incident is being investigated at the federal level by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Our prayers are with the injured and their families.

If the engineer were text messaging rather than keeping his full attention to the rails, then this should be a harsh lesson for ordinary people driving on our roads and highways.  Text messaging and driving do not mix.  

Mark E. Seitelman, 9/14/08,


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