The engineer of the Metrolink train that struck a truck on the tracks in Oxnard a week ago Tuesday died this morning at a Los Angeles hospital.
Glenn William Steele, 62, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 3:59 a.m., according to Oxnard police and the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adjourned its meeting today in memory of Steele, who was a resident of the Riverside County community of Homeland.
Metrolink’s interim CEO, Sam Joumblat, said the “entire Metrolink family is deeply saddened by the loss of this dedicated and hard-working railroader.”
“Everyone associated with Metrolink extends our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and co-workers,” Joumblat said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”
The crash occurred around 6 a.m. Feb. 24 near the intersection of Rice Avenue and Fifth Street, just east of the Oxnard station as Metrolink train 102 was en route to Union Station in Los Angeles. Four passenger cars and the rear locomotive derailed.
Twenty-eight people were hospitalized, with Steele and a passenger the most seriously injured.
The driver of a Ford F-450 towing a trailer became stuck on the tracks when he mistakenly turned onto them, according to his attorney. Ron Bamieh said 54-year-old Jose Alejandro Sanchez Ramirez of Yuma, Arizona, thought he was turning onto Fifth Street, and had then left the vehicle and went for help.
Sanchez-Ramirez was released from jail in Oxnard last Thursday night, after Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten announced that no charges were being filed against him at this time. Totten indicated charges could still be forthcoming once the investigation is completed.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators said the train was travelling at 64 mph when its crew saw the pickup, about 1,100 feet in front of them, about 12 seconds before impact. One second later, the train’s throttle was moved to idle.
Analysis of the train’s data recorders showed the brakes were applied eight seconds before impact, 750 feet from the pickup, according to the NTSB. The train was travelling at 56 mph at the point of impact.
— City News Service