By Rob Beschizza at 6:46 am Tue, Sep 16, 2008
Those investigating the L.A. train crash want to see phone records following reports the engineer responsible was text messaging shortly beforehand.
I was baffled by this story when I read it on CNN last night. The teens said they were “talking shop” with the engineer, but they didn’t define that any further. What the hell kind of shop talk can you do over txt messages?
Crap that’s bad.
What I can’t figure out is why an alarm went off in the dispatching station – why wouldn’t the alarm just cause the train to apply brakes and shut off the motors?
It looks rather like they’re fishing for scapes.
From following the coverage in the L.A. Times, it makes sense. The signals based on examination to date are functioning. The boys say they received a text message within a minute of the crash. I can easily see how the engineer was txt’ng as he approached the signal and completely missed seeing it as red. The track where the accident took place is on a curve.
An accident can occur within a split second of distraction taking attention elsewhere, whether it is driving an automobile or a train engine.
Granted, he could have sneezed at the wrong time as well causing him to close his eyes and miss it.
…What sort of text message could have been sent?
“BRAKES EPIC FAIL!”
“ZOMG REKKD TEH TRANE ROFLCOPTER”
I’m kind of surprised they haven’t worked the whole 14-year-old boys angle more.
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