Southland leaders mark fourth anniversary of deadly Metrolink collision in Chatsworth

FILE PHOTO:Metrolink Engineer Sent Text Message 22 Seconds Before Crash

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Firefighters search for survivors in the wreckage of a Metrolink commuter train that collided head-on with a freight train on the previous afternoon, on Sept. 13, 2008 in the Los Angeles area community of Chatsworth.

Commuter And Freight Trains Collide Killing Two

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Ambulances stand by to transport victim from the wreckage of a triple-level Metrolink commuter train that collided head-on with a freights train on Sept. 12, 2008 in the Los Angeles area community of Chatsworth.

LAPD Holds Funeral For Officer Killed In Metrolink Train Accident

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Police pall bearers carry the body of Los Angeles police Officer Spree Desha, who was among the 25 people killed in a train crash, during funeral services in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sept. 18, 2008 in Los Angeles.

Southern California Deals With Aftermath Of Deadly Train Crash

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A conductor steps down from the engine of a Metrolink train on the Los Angeles-bound Monday morning commute as service partially resumes for the first time since the Sept. 12 head-on collision of a Metrolink commuter train with a freight train on Sept. 15, 2008 in Chatsworth.

Four years ago today, 25 Metrolink train commuters never made it home from Los Angeles. More than 100 others sustained injuries in a major collision. It was the deadliest accident in the regional rail system’s history.

During a typical Friday evening rush hour, a Metrolink commuter train near Chatsworth slammed head on into a freight car.

Southland leaders this week reflected on the collision as Metrolink previewed new braking technology it hopes will prevent similar incidents.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that despite advancements, "not money, not even this new announcement can soften your pain, can comfort you in these times. Know as well, that we will never forget.

“I remember the first responders who were there, the families that I spoke to, that I comforted, some who lost a family member, a friend, others who were lucky enough to get good news," Villaraigosa said.

Investigators determined that the engineer of the Metrolink train involved in the collision caused the accident because he was distracted while text messaging. The passenger train ran through a red light signal.

By next summer, Metrolink expects to put in place ‘Positive Train Control‘ – a system that can automatically stop trains even when operators make mistakes.

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