WASHINGTON - The engineer involved in a deadly Los Angeles rail collision let teenage rail buffs ride in the cab and even take the controls, investigators said Tuesday.
Text messages sent by Robert Sanchez show that he planned a "ride-along" on the evening of the crash, the Los Angeles Times reported. Sanchez was one of the 25 people killed when his Metrolink commuter train rammed a freight train on Sept. 12 shortly before 4 p.m.
The National Transportation Safety Board has held hearings this week on the crash. Sanchez's text messages are part of the evidence.
Sanchez sent one message that appears to refer to plans for the evening of Sept. 12: "yea ... but I'm REALLY looking forward to getting you in the cab and showing you how to run a locomotive."
Ride-alongs, allowing unauthorized riders in the cab, are considered a serious safety violation and allowing them to take the controls even worse.
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