As the anniversary of a deadly commuter rail crash approaches, transportation officials unveiled a memorial plaque at Los Angeles’ Union Station. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says the marker honors the victims, surviving passengers, and emergency responders involved in last year’s collision in Chatsworth.
The bronze plaque includes an image of train tracks bending toward the horizon alongside a grove of trees. An artist adapted that scene from a photo taken near the site of the crash last September 12th and added the words “unfinished journeys.”
At a brief dedication ceremony, officials of the Metrolink commuter rail system acknowledged that the memorial will do little to relieve the grief of people who lost relatives and friends in the Chatsworth crash. Those officials pledged to foster stricter safety standards on the rail line that connects the Inland Empire, the Antelope Valley, Orange County, and Los Angeles.
Investigations have revealed that a Metrolink engineer was text-messaging when his train passed a red warning light and collided with a freight train. The resulting crash killed 25 people. Stony Point Park in Chatsworth and the city of Simi Valley will host memorial ceremonies on Saturday, the anniversary of the collision.