Engineer in California Metrolink train crash dies

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The engineer at the helm of a commuter train that crashed into a pickup truck and derailed last week in Oxnard, California, has died from his injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Glenn Steele died Tuesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Steele, who spent half of his 40-year career with Metrolink, was the commuter rail system’s most senior engineer, according to Jeff Lustgarten, Metrolink’s director of public affairs.

The train plowed into the truck as it headed south out of Oxnard the morning of February 24. The collision knocked passenger cars off the tracks and the truck burst into flames.

Thirty people were injured. Steele is the only person to have died as a result of the accident.

The driver of the truck allegedly drove onto the track thinking it was a roadway and got stuck. Authorities found 54-year-old Jose Alejandro Sanchez Ramirez disoriented and unhurt.

Ramirez was arrested, but the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has not charged him, saying the investigation is “complex and involves numerous local and federal agencies.”

“The District Attorney must await the completion of this investigation before making a formal filing decision,” the office said in a statement last week.

Sam Joumblat, Metrolink’s interim CEO, released a statement saying of Steele, “the entire Metrolink family is deeply saddened by the loss of this dedicated, hardworking railroader. Everyone associated with Metrolink extends our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

By Amanda Watts