Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Video of the Day: Priest On Board Metrolink Train During Chatsworth Crash Speaks About Helping People, Giving Last Rites

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Reverend Donald Ashman, who "leads a small congregation at the Anglican Church of Our Saviour on the Westside of Los Angeles, where he has been for a quarter of a century [and] teaches Latin and world history at Hoover High School in Glendale," was on board Metrolink Train 111 on Friday, September 12th at 4:23 p.m. when it crashed head-on into a Union Pacific Freight Train. Despite his own back injuries sustained in the crash, Ashman remained on scene to help people physically and spiritually. He told firefighters he was a priest, and offered prayers for the dead, including Robert Sanchez, the Metrolink engineer. TheLA Times describes Ashman's encounter with Sanchez:

At one point, a firefighter asked him to come with him to pray for the engineer, whose body was still trapped in the wreckage. That blanket wasn't white. It was blood red. Ashman touched his arm, made the sign of the cross and said a quick prayer.

The Reverend says of Sanchez: "Whatever he did or intended to do, that's irrelevant [...] Everybody is treated the same in God's eyes."