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News

CA Teen Testifies on Metrolink Crash that Killed her Dad

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Photo by LA Wad via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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This week, testimony is being heard on Capitol Hill regarding the 2008 Metrolink crash in Chatsworth that killed 25 people and injured 150. The hearings are part of an attempt by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Thousand Oaks) to have the company that is being held responsible for the crash pay victims more than the $200 million established by federal law. Among those testifying was 15-year-old Mackenzie Souser of Camarillo, whose father, 56-year-old Doyle Souser, was among those who died in the crash. The Daily News reports that Mackenzie's testimony brought the hearings to a complete silence, as she was at least once unable to fight back tears. Her testimony included the following remarks:

"I am simply not a normal teenager any more without my dad." "The best part of every day was when my dad came home from work and our family would have dinner together...I struggle every day with the fact that my dad who was the sole bread-winner for our family isn't coming home ever again."

Doyle Souser and the crash's other 24 victims died when train engineer Robert Sanchez missed a red light because he was texting. The passenger train then collided head-on with a freight train.

According to the Daily News, Sanchez' employees knew he had texted while driving before the crash and failed to take sufficient action. He had also considered allowing a teenager to drive the train as part of a "ride-along," and had been reprimanded for bringing trains back to the station late.