Confirmed: Metrolink Engineer was Txt Msging Before Crash
After the National Transportation Safety Board heard that teenagers were claiming Metrolink Engineer Robert Sanchez was texting with them moments before the crash, they subpoenaed his cell phone records but were wary saying a similar claim in a Boston crash was made and ended up being false. But these claims were true the NTSB announced on Wednesday night.
They did not say if it was the cause of the collision, but did say he was texting while on duty that day--a violation of Metrolink policy but not illegal. An emergency bill is going through the state legislature right now to make texting while operating a train illegal.
A profile of Sanchez in the LA Times shows that he was a caring man who loved trains and Italian greyhounds but had his moments where things were not so well. He and his gay partner bought a home in 2000, but on Valentine's Day 2003 Daniel Charles Burton killed himself. A year before that, Sanchez served 90 days of jail on weekends for stealing a video game console. He also reportedly had diabetes and some wonder if that played a role in the crash.
AP Photo/Courtesy of Lilian Barber