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CA Train Accident - Info on Conductor

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I've been following the sad saga of the recent commuter train accident in California. Very tragic and I'm not sure we'll ever know the full details of the crash.


But, today the local news had a feature story on the engineer that apparently caused the accident and died in the crash. I was very surprised to learn he was gay. According to the report,


In the years leading up to his death in the locomotive of a commuter train, the engineer's life was marked by personal tragedy, jail time, and concerns about his health and job security.


His HIV-positive companion had committed suicide, he was concerned about his diabetes and he feared a brush with the law that could end the career he loved...


Feb. 14, 2003, the engineer's partner hanged himself in the garage of the home they shared in Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.


The partner's sister said she suspected foul play and never believed her 39-year-old brother, who was HIV-positive, would have killed himself...




Very interesting article. It left me wondering if the accident could have been a suicide. Latest reports indicate the commuter trail blew through 2 red signals and the brakes were NOT activated prior to the collision.


IMHO I think the engineer either 1) intentionally caused the crash; 2) suffered a health-related episode that left him incapacitated at the controls; or 3) was text messaging and distracted.


Unfortunately, technology exists that could have shut down both trains had they been connected to a computerized monitoring system. This type of safeguard needs to be implemented throughout the entire country.

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Wait just a minute! You stopped the quote from the sister just a little too soon. It goes on:



"He was doing fine; he was happy, no signs of depression," Peschell said. "We didn't feel my brother was capable of doing this to himself."


Peschell, who described Sanchez as "very odd, very strange," said her suspicions were ruled out by San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators."


So, if her suspicions were ruled out, why were they even in this article? Sounds to me like someone is trying to dirty this guy up and took a cheap shot. Why add the thoughts by the deceased lover's sister that he was odd and strange? Her brother loved the guy. Was that what we are supposed to think is so odd and strange?

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The first commuter rail system where I live opened about 6 months ago. I ride it to and from work daily. There are at least 3 "train" parks where people (mostly teenage boys and mothers with children) gather to watch the commuter trains go by.


The commuter route is being extended and plans are to develop at least 3 more "train" parks along that corridor.


I remember 10-15 years ago lots of people used to congregate at the end of the airport runways to watch the planes land. Since 9/11 this has been banned.


But, I'm not surprised to learn that there are groups who watch the trains just for fun.


Seriously hope that this wasn't a contributing factor in this terrible incident.

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