Investigators Say Engineer Was Texting on Duty, Failed to Stop at Red Light

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal investigators say the engineer involved in a fatal train collision last year in California may have been planning to let a teenage train buff drive the locomotive later that day.

They're releasing the dozens of text messages the engineer sent and received while on duty, including one 22 seconds before the crash. They say the messages include a plan to let a teenager drive the train that evening, while the engineer looked on.

Federal investigators have been sketching out the days and minutes leading up to September's collision between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train. The crash killed 25 people and injured at least 130 people.

There was no sign of mechanical error involving the Metrolink train. An investigator says "all the evidence" points to the engineer failing to stop at a red light.

Investigators also found the conductor of the Union Pacific train received and sent numerous text messages while on duty. He also tested positive for marijuana, but was not driving the train at the time of the crash.


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