Monday, September 15, 2008

Metrolink crashes with freight train

I never liked reading newspapers. Most of the time it's got some really depressing headline splashed across the front page. Once in a while I would watch the news channel but only to make sure I did not miss anything catasthropic.

Friday afternoon. I had my daughter leave work early. I'll be taking them to watch a concert at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. It was traffic, bad. I was beginning to worry we won't make it by 6pm, the time they said people will be allowed in the venue. On the way at I-5S, there was an overturned vehicle. It was curiosity causing the traffic. What's curious to me is how they could end up in such a bad accident with so much traffic. I cannot imagine how a car can get up to the speed it would require for a car to flip over and another car to lose it's entire hood all with Friday traffic. But all ended well, at least for us. We got to the concert's venue in time, we even got and early entry pass because we bank at WAMU. My son later said it was a good thing because it's quite a walk to actually get to where they'd be sitting.

Little did we know that as we prepare to have a relaxing evening, at the other side of town, a tragedy is unfolding. A Metrolink train crashed head on with a freight train. Kyla later told me that some of her friends texted her to make sure she's alright. How that could happen is currently being investigated. As of today, there's been 25 fatalities, 135 injured, 40 of them in critical condition.

Today, I hastily glanced at the LA Times... the main headline is about Wall St. (something to do with a bank filling for bankruptcy), but the main photo was of the train crash. It said investigators are focusing on whether the signal was broken or if it was missed by the engineer. The crash happened on a curve, but I'm a lot more curious as to why these two trains are on the same track... signal or not, they would have been too close to each other traveling at a speed that would make it hard for any of the trains to stop. I should say that there was no mention of some sort of side track where the other train could have moved to had they been warned by the signal.

Towards the back of the paper, there was a feature story on the lives lost in this tragedy, and some story of the people still struggling to survive. Loss of a loved one is always a hard thing to understand