Memorials held for 2008 LA train crash that killed 25
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 25 people killed when a Los Angeles commuter train collided head-on with a freight train were remembered Wednesday by relatives and friends on the 10th anniversary of the wreck.
“It reminds me that we’re not alone, and that people still remember my dad, and people still remember this crash, the thing that changed my life,” said Mackenzie Souser, whose father, Doyle Souser, died in the crash.
She and her sister rang a bell that was aboard the Metrolink commuter train, while Souser’s wife Claudia recited the names of all the victims during a ceremony at Union Station. In addition to those killed, more than 100 people were injured in the crash in the Chatsworth area of the San Fernando Valley on Sept. 12, 2008.
“Some days are OK, some days the grief is just right back to the first day. It’s still fresh some days,” said Mackenzie Souser.
Investigators believe the Metrolink train’s engineer, who was killed, was texting on his phone at the time he went through a red signal.
The crash inspired a federal law that mandates the installation on all rail lines of Positive Train Control safety systems designed to automatically stop trains before certain accidents, although many railroads across the country have yet to implement the technology.
Metrolink was the first passenger rail in the nation to operate PTC in 2015.
“This agency has worked tirelessly every day in an effort to make sure that nothing like this happens again,’” Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “As difficult as it might be, I am proud of Metrolink for ensuring we pause to remember this day and not let it go by without reflection.”
An exhibit that details the crash, honors the victims and first responders and explains the safety improvements since then is on display at Union Station until Sept. 26.
“It reminds me that we’re not alone, and that people still remember my dad, and people still remember this crash, the thing that changed my life,” Mackenzie Souser said.