Metrolink Crashes

Shera Brady, Photojournalist

On February 24, a Metrolink train collided with a truck that was stopped on the tracks just outside of LA. Twenty-eight passengers were taken to the hospital and on March 3rd, the engineer died. Three others were critically injured, two of which are currently filing a lawsuit against the driver, Jose Sanchez-Ramirez, who was driving a company truck when the vehicle got stuck on the tracks. Sanchez-Ramirez and his lawyer claim that he somehow got stuck and tried to move off of the tracks, but was unsuccessful. When he saw the train coming, he panicked and fled in an attempt to save his life. He didn’t immediately call the police, however, so the authorities are currently investigating the crash in order to decipher what truly happened.

This is not the first train crash the public has seen. There was a very similar crash in 2005; however, the intentions of the driver of the truck were much clearer and much more malicious. Juan Alvarez killed 11 people when he parked his truck on the tracks in order to get his estranged wife’s attention. In 2008, a commuter train crashed into a freight train when it went through a signal light, resulting in 25 deaths and 135 injuries.


Metrolink has made safety improvements in order to avoid these fatalities. In 2010, they instigated a “crash energy management system” and bought Rotem cars. This had a huge impact on this recent tragedy, and actually helped to save many people’s lives. Drivers have the important responsibility of making sure they are aware of their surroundings and the condition their car is in at all times. Junior Holly Salas says, “I always make sure I have at least half a tank of gas and the air pressure is right on my tires and all that stuff. You never know when there will be an emergency. I also try to avoid texting and driving. It doesn’t always seem like it, but it’s so dangerous. I don’t want to take the risk of hurting myself or anyone else just to respond to someone.”


Reckless or careless driving can have detrimental consequences, and anyone who has a license should take it upon themselves to make sure that they know what they’re doing and to follow the laws that are only put in place for the general safety of the population.