California Train Operator Dies Following Accident
The operator of the ill-fated train that crashed into a truck in Oxnard, California last week has succumbed to injuries, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported. The operator, Glenn Steele, was the engineer at the helm of the commuter train.
The interim CEO of the train company, Sam Joumblat, released an official statement, saying “the entire Metrolink family is deeply saddened by the loss of this dedicated, hardworking railroader. Everyone associated with Metrolink extends our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”
Steel was an Amtrak employee who spent almost half of his 40-year engineering career working for Metrolink. He was the senior engineer in the company, according to Jeff Lustgarten, Metrolink’s director of public affairs.
Thirty people were injured in the accident. Steele is the only person who have died, CNN reported.
The driver of the truck parked the vehicle along the train lines, mistaking it as a pathway. The police discovered him a few miles away from the spot of the accident. According to them, he was found unharmed but disoriented.
Ventura County District Attorney’s Office did not charge the truck driver, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, saying the investigation is “complex and involves numerous local and federal agencies.” However, Sanchez-Ramirez has been arrested by the local police.
“The District Attorney must await the completion of this investigation before making a formal filing decision,” the office said.
Although police had ruled out conspiracy behind the accident, Sanchez-Ramirez could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Ron Bamieh, an attorney for Sanchez-Ramirez, admitted his client was arrested in 1998 under the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. This time, however, there has been no evidence of intoxication at the time of the accident.