Metrolink Spokeswoman Resigns Following Comments

LOS ANGELES — Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell has resigned following comments she made to reporters in the wake of a fatal wreck.

A Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train collided on on Sept. 12 near Chatsworth, Calif., killing 25 people and injuring more than 130 more.

Tyrrell and Metrolink quickly blamed human error for the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board says it is still investigating.

“Her teary comments and surprising candor elicited a flood of encouragement from Metrolink staff members and commuters from as far as London and Vietnam,” The Los Angeles Times reported. “By Monday, Tyrrell had resigned her $86,000-a-year post amid intense criticism from Metrolink officials and federal investigators who called her public comments premature and inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, investigators probing the crash have said they want to interview the train’s conductor and also hope that recordings of verbal safety checks will help paint a fuller picture of what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

The wreck is said to be the nation’s worst rail disaster in 15 years.

Officials indicated the train — operated by Veolia Transportation — did not stop at a red light and crashed into the freight train. Investigators say the train’s data recorders retrieved from the crash site should yield important information. Investigators are also looking into whether the engineer sent a text message shortly before the wreck.

— Railfanning.org News Wire