Maria Elena Villalobos

Maria Elena Villalobos, 18

Hospital: County Usc
Died: September 12, 2008
She had such big plans.
— Veronica Gonzalez, aunt
Villalobos planned to be a fashion designer and wanted to start her own line of denim jeans. Her aunt and and other family members spent a horrific night Friday, frantically trying to find her at area hospitals. Reports of two unidentified victims at County-USC hospital on Saturday sent them racing there. By late afternoon, authorities confirmed that Villalobos was among the dead.
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151 memories of Maria

Yesterday I was unable to sleep thinking of the tragedy and specially of the young woman who was desperately searching for her sister, a fashion student. I am very sad to find out that that sister was Maria Elena Villalobos. I seldom pray, but I did pray yesterday for your sister and all those who went through this tragedy. I'm very sorry.

— Alejandra
September 13, 2008 at 8:28 p.m.

I am truely heartbroken......I can't even write!!!!!!

— Crystal
September 13, 2008 at 8:37 p.m.

im so very sorry to here about your loss i saw you on the news not knowing about if your girl was ok or not i felt for you so much that i cried of course all of the other victims i felt for to i just saw about her today and again im very sorry my family and i will prey for you all ,keep strong&god bless you

— jessie navarro
September 13, 2008 at 10:53 p.m.

Maria was a long time friend of my daughter Rachel. My daughter spent time with Maria and celebrated many of Maria's birthday's at her home with the family. Maria was so full of life and energy. She was the light in the room when the friends were all together. She will be missed by many. Our prayers are with her family and I'm glad to have met Maria and happy she touched my daughters life.

— Wanda
September 13, 2008 at 10:56 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss, I saw you on the news and I wanted her to be ok so badly, I couldn't sleep all night I was touched by you and your heart must be broken, I will ask God to send Angels by your side to help you and your family through this very tough time.

— Lori, Toluca Lake
September 14, 2008 at 12:02 a.m.

God bless you all. Rest in Peace Maria.

— Albert Carrillo
September 14, 2008 at 6:57 a.m.

I saw Maria's mom on the news that night... She was desperately looking for her and i wished she would be reunited with her. She expalined how it was Maria's last day of fashion school. My heart goes out to the famil and friends. I will keep you all in my toughts and prayers!

— Luz Gonzalez
September 14, 2008 at 7:22 a.m.

I saw you Friday night on the news and was unable to sleep. I immediately called my daughter (who also works in the fashion industry downtown, LA) to make sure she was home safe. I cried and prayed that you would reunite with Maria. I stayed home all day Saturday - watching the news hoping to see that you had found your daughter. Unfortunately, I didn't see the family and feared for the worse. Your story touched so many.... As parents, we all worry about our "adult" children's safety. I am certain Maria's denim line, Diamond Rec... would've been a hit!

Hugs

— Debbie, Torrance
September 14, 2008 at 7:52 a.m.

I saw Maria's mother on the news the night of the crash. The pain in her voice as she waited for news of her daughter stayed with me all night long. I was so sad to see her name listed among the fatalities. I have a daughter almost the same age with big dreams and her whole life ahead of her. My heart aches for this woman who will never see her child grow up and live her dreams. May God bless and comfort your family. There are no words I can say to ease your pain, but just know that we are praying for you.

— Elma, North Hollywood
September 14, 2008 at 8:11 a.m.

I saw your story on Tv today, waiting to hear news about your sister. I am so sorry the news was not what you wanted to hear. I know Maria is resting in peace and would want all the family to go on with their lives, hard as it my seem. I live in Mesa, Az. this has touched my heart as I also have lost a daughter.May God Bless all the family, you all will be in my prayers.

— Olga
September 14, 2008 at 9 a.m.

So very sorry for your loss. No words can say the sadness for you.

God be with you at this time. Accept my deepest condolences.

— William
September 14, 2008 at 9:16 a.m.

I am so sorry. God rest your soul, Maria. To her family, I offer my sincere condolences for your profound loss. I hope your hearts can get to a place where you find peace with this tragedy.

— Maggie M.
September 14, 2008 at 9:44 a.m.

I am a Metrolink commuter from the San Bernadino line. I consider everyone who commutes as a big family. My heart sank when I found out about Maria. I understand it is hard to understand but one day you will be reunited with your daughter in God's glory. I will be praying every night for your family for strength.

— Eduardo
September 14, 2008 at 10:12 a.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I saw you on the news that night and just couldn't get you off my mind "( I feel your pain and even though its uncomparable to the pain you are feeling I really am sorry for your loss. I have children of my own and would never want someone to go through that. You and your family will be in my prayers.

— jenny
September 14, 2008 at 10:26 a.m.

I saw her sister on the news and could hear the urgency in her voice. I vowed to remember the name "Maria Elena" and keep track of her. In fact, I scanned this list today looking for that name and I am very saddened to see it here. I remember the newsman saying "Maybe her phone was thrown during the crash," to give the sister some comfort. I was hoping that was the case and that Maria was shaken but otherwise okay. Maria, I did not know you, but as a fellow Angeleno, I weep for you.

CCC

— Crystal C.
September 14, 2008 at 10:32 a.m.

To the Villalobos family,

I am deeply sadden for your loss. Maria has a wonderful individual with a bright future in front of her. I will forever remember her warm smile and her creative spirit. I feel fortunate to have known her briefly last spring while she was a student in my fifth period class. She left a lasting impression on myself and many others in the community. She will be missed greatly. My thoughts and well wishes are with you and her friends.

— Kristin Swenson
September 14, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Seeing Maria Elena's name on this list broke my heart. My family had been glued to the TV as well, because my aunt's fiance was on the train and we hadn't heard from him. We saw Maria's aunt on the news, and we felt her pain, the same as ours.
We feel her pain now, as we have all received the same answer.
My uncle-to-be is not on this list yet, but he should be. Perhaps he was sitting next to Maria.
While searching for his name on this list, we came across Maria Elena's name and remembered her aunt from the news, and the pain and sadness was almost too much to bear.
Our hearts are with your family.....I am so sorry

— Natalie Katz
September 14, 2008 at 12:07 p.m.

to the villabobo family i am shocked by the tradgedy i heard on the news and for your lost one may god bless every family who lost their friend, family on that day.

— willl
September 14, 2008 at 12:25 p.m.

my depest condolences to your family...as an Angeleno it feels like family and very devistating.

— teresa
September 14, 2008 at 12:56 p.m.

Of all the stories in the news coverage, the story of the woman searching for Maria Villalobos stuck out for me. I just checked-in today, Sunday, and my heart stopped when when I saw Maria's name in the list. I am so truly sorry that this happened to her and to the other people who lost their lives so suddenly and tragically. My prayers are dedicated to her memory as a symbol for all of them. God Bless You in ths difficult time.

— Chris B
September 14, 2008 at 1:24 p.m.

I am sorry to hear about your loss. I saw the news that night just like everyone else and i saw you and i was praying to god that your daughter would be ok. I will keep your family in my prayers.

— Vanessa
September 14, 2008 at 1:27 p.m.

I saw your story on the news and could not stop thinking about your daughter and family. As my daughter went to FIDM and recently graduated. I could not stop reading the papers and watching the news hoping she was o.k. I have been crying for your family as well as all the victims of this tragedy. My heart sank when I heard what had happened to your daughter. My deepest condolences to your family. Even though I do not know you or your family just know I am praying for your family.

— Brenda O.
September 14, 2008 at 1:33 p.m.

I saw you on the news Friday night and immediately felt your pain and anguish in waiting for news of Maria. I was in tears with you as I tried to put myself in your place. As the mother of two daughters, I can't imagine what you are going through now. Although I never met Maria, I can see her and feel her energy by the description you provided on the news. I pray that you and your family gain the strength to endure this unimaginable loss. And I know that Maria was very blessed to have you as her mother.

— Leticia
September 14, 2008 at 2:06 p.m.

all I COuld think abOut sat WAs the mother Of maria r.i.p And her sister Still Looking for Her i so Hope and pRayed for the best im SO orry to hear about your lost she would have been a great fashion designer im sure ! my prayers go to the family god bless !

— Jessy
September 14, 2008 at 2:10 p.m.

I am a 49 year old mother of four daughters, a teacher, and a student learning about English Language Learners. I ride the light rail train here and see all the different people riding the train. Ever since I heard about this trajedy I have not been able to put it out of my mind and I pray for the victims and their families. I went to the LA Times website and found the prayers and thoughts for Maria. Although I do not know her or her family, they will be in my thoughts and prayers. May God help the families and friends of these dear people who have been lost.

— Linda from Aurora, Colorado
September 14, 2008 at 2:14 p.m.

I saw your mother on the news late Friday night and was just heartbroken when I heard her say that she still had not heard from Maria... it stayed with me the whole night and the following day. I ran home from work on Saturday praying to see if I could hear that she would be ok...but in looking at this I now know that she was not. Im deeply saddened and just want you to know that your family is in our prayers. May he give you the strength to get throught this difficult time.

With much love.....Cindy.... a grieving stranger

— Cindy
September 14, 2008 at 2:16 p.m.

As a mother of an 18 year old daughter I wept as I heard the news Friday evening. It was apparent that there was a close bond between you and your daughter. I can only imagine the pain you are enduring at this moment. My condolences go out to you and your family. May you have faith to endure your loss. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Maria will continue to live in your memories and in your heart. God Bless you and give you strength to continue.

— Sylvia
September 14, 2008 at 2:33 p.m.

Maria was such a gift at Moorpark High School, and a gift to all that met her. i am so sorry for your pain

— Lisa
September 14, 2008 at 3:06 p.m.

God bless you Maria Elena. I offer my sincere condolences for the profound loss to the Villalobos faimily.

— Sandra Navarrete
September 14, 2008 at 3:11 p.m.

I walked behind Maria when we graduated this past June. It is so heart breaking that even though I spent a couple lunches with her, hung out with her at a birthday party, and walked the halls of school a couple times with Maria that I didnt really take the time to get to know her on a different level. She is in my prayers and will forever be in my heart. Don't take life for granted, know the people you surround yourself with, you will regret it.

— Taylor
September 14, 2008 at 3:17 p.m.

I was one of the crew memeber of a ambulance that responded to the accident. I'm a sorry for your lose.

— Thomas EMS
September 14, 2008 at 3:26 p.m.

I would occasionally go home on the 3:35 train out of Union Station. I only knew Maria by face--she was the bright and lovely girl who came on the train and sometimes sat across from me or across the aisle, studying her fashion books. She had a very nice smile and was very serious about her study.
We don't always really know the people we ride with but when the accident happened, she was one of the ones I feared was on the train. I was so, so sorry to hear that it was her. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and I know you are welcome in heaven too, too early.

— Teresa
September 14, 2008 at 4:13 p.m.

I saw Maria's mom on TV Friday night, desperately looking for her daughter. For some reason I was drawn in to hearing about Maria. Hearing her mom describe her touched me in many ways. As many people did, I had trouble sleeping Friday night and woke up immediately and turned on the TV to see if Maria was located. By this time I had feared the worst and throughout Saturday, I questioned people in public asking, have they found the fashion designer student. Sadly, today, I learned the worst. My thoughts and prayer are with the family. I'm so sorry.

— Aubrey
September 14, 2008 at 4:36 p.m.

We are praying...

http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=74841955486

— Amanda
September 14, 2008 at 4:59 p.m.

I saw Maria's mother on the Friday night news, desperately waiting for the whereabouts of Maria. It BROKE my heart. May God provide her with much strength and energy to function at this difficult time.

— Lorraine
September 14, 2008 at 5:31 p.m.

i am one of marias friends. we have been friends since 6th grade... when i found about what happened i just couldnt beleive it. my heart goes out to her family. its hard not to think about her and not get sad or cry... and all the great times we had at her house.. she was such a wonderful kind sweet funny gilr that i have evern known i could tell her everything and she would always understand... she will be missed by everyone.. my prayers goes out to the Villalobos family love you all...

— Adrianna DeLeon
September 14, 2008 at 6:03 p.m.

i too like so many was touched and saddened as i watched her aunt on tv, fearing the worst i kept tuning in for an update and couldnt get stop thinking of Maria Elena, I know we can all relate to her i have a younger sister whose name is Maria Elena and thats my mothers name too. My Heart aches for all the victims of this tragedy may God Grant all the families the strength to endure their profound loss.

— juan gabriel
September 14, 2008 at 6:14 p.m.

My heart goes out to the family of Maria. I saw her Mother on T.V. as many people did. I can only hope that God gives you the stregth to endure this very difficult time. I lost my brother when he was only 24 in a tragic accident and I can relate to this very difficult time. It is always sad to hear of a death, but when young people leave this world especially so suddenly it is so heart braking to see that they never got a chance to live their lives. Maria, like my dear brother are Angels now. My heart goes out to the family - I know there will always be a void in your lives, but Maria will always be alive in your hearts. God bless you.

— Maribel
September 14, 2008 at 6:21 p.m.

I saw Maria's relatives on the news and my heart broke. I've never met this family, but the pain and desperation in her aunt's words really touched me. I specifically went on this list in hopes of not seeing her name.
My prayers go out to all who have lost someone in this tragedy, and especially to the Villalobos family who have lost such a young daughter. God bless all of you and may you find comfort in knowing we are all still praying for you.

— Martin Morales
September 14, 2008 at 6:52 p.m.

God bless you and your family during this time of unspeakable loss. Maria Elena is now with God in heaven, and she will never been forgotten here on Earth. Her name will be spoken by me in my prayers forever.

Maria Elena, rest in peace, angel of God!

— Gisela
September 14, 2008 at 7:33 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss. I know that no words could change how you feel. I hope that in time you are able to see that your daughter served her purpose in life. God has plans for us all and although we may not understand what it was one day it will all make sense. She know shares a place with our lord. I pray for you and your family and hope that with time you all will heal.
God Bless you all.

— Veronica Zavala
September 14, 2008 at 8:07 p.m.

Even being in law enforcement for 16 years, I found the TV coverage of this victim heart breaking. God bless all the victims and families. See you all on other side.

— Omar
September 14, 2008 at 8:11 p.m.

I knew You well Maria. The reason for your passing over is known only but to God.

— Fernando
September 14, 2008 at 9:14 p.m.

Please know that the WHOLE WORLD mourns for your daughter, she is in a great place smiling I am sure like before, remember the wonderful things, the things that made everyone laugh, let her spirit still live on, my thoughts and prayers go to the mother and family of this beautiful young woman, stay strong and remember her

— Someone
September 14, 2008 at 9:16 p.m.

I didn't know Maria but I'm acquainted with her mother. I am deeply sorry for the family's loss! God grant you peace during this tragic time in your life. God Bless you all!

— Susie
September 14, 2008 at 9:25 p.m.

I remember watching Maria's mother on the news and hoping that she would find her daughter. Eventhouh I did not know Maria, I find myself very affected by her death. It's just a sadness that I can't shake. I cannot think of anything to say to the family, if I feel this way I cannot even begin to imagine how they are feeling. What little I can say is that I'm very sorry for your loss.

— B.
September 14, 2008 at 10:04 p.m.

I saw you on the news when the crash first happened and you were trying to get in contact with your sister. I have thought about it and turned on the news tonight but heard nothing so I logged on to google bringing up the victoms and was so sad to hear that your sister passed. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

— Jennifer
September 14, 2008 at 10:24 p.m.

I knew maria from the Moorpark softball team she was my sisters very good friends adrianna. But maria was always laughing and i remeber she would come to my house and we would practice in my back yard throwing or just whatever. just to make her better. she was a rebel one though and but she always knew how to make you laugh.no matter if she won a game or lost she still had a smile on her face. she is up in heaven and watching over. just remeber we will always have a friend in heaven looking out for us and just to keep her dream alive.

— Cassandra Deleon
September 14, 2008 at 10:38 p.m.

Im so sorry for the loss of a young beautiful young lady . I felt really bad when i seen the news on friday , i really felt your stress to find Maria, I to have a 18 year old beautiful daughter and all you ever hope for is for GOD to bring them home safely . There are no words that can ever heal your pain,but i want you to know that i really feel bad for what has happened to you and your family . My heart goes out to you and your family God bless you .

— Lisa ,Montebello CA
September 14, 2008 at 10:49 p.m.

To Maria's Mother,
I am so sorry about the death of your beautiful daughter. I watched you plead for your daughter's safety on Friday night on TV and on Saturday morning saw Maria's aunt hold up a photo of her. From the moment I saw the photo, I knew that she was your daughter because she looked just like you. Most of Saturday night I prayed that your daughter would be returned to you. Now that I read her name on this list, my heart breaks. My prayers to you for strength during this unspeakably tragic loss.

— Yvonne
September 14, 2008 at 11:07 p.m.

i am marias age and i was watching the news and i seen her mother looking for her daughter it brought tears to my eyes hoping god wouldnt take this young girl away from her loved ones.i am very sad about the news ive just read on this website but i can tell she was a great girl from just reading all the comments on this website people not even knowing her but hoping she was okay im very sorry for the family and friends of this young girl.i will pray for you and your daughter.im very sorry

— amber LA
September 14, 2008 at 11:29 p.m.

After reading some of the other memories, I believe your daughter is the same young lady my family sat next to in July as we traveled the same #111 on our way home from a family day in L.A. That afternoon I was amazed at her concentration on her sketches while my 3 young boys sat noisily nearby. Her sketches were beautiful and creative - I thought what a talented person and wondered if I'd buy her designs someday. I am so sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort be real to you during this time and may you experience the peace that passes all understanding.

— Monica - Ventura,CA
September 14, 2008 at 11:40 p.m.

I ALSO SAW MARIA'S MOTHER ON TV...AND FELT SO SORRY FOR HER.
I WORRIED JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE AND HOPED THAT THEY WOULD FIND HER IN ONE OF THE HOSPITALS.SADLY WHEN I CHECK FOR HER TODAY, HER NAME WAS ON THE LIST....
I FEEL FOR HER FAMILY AND KNOW THAT GOD WILL GIVE THEM STRENGTH. FOR HER FAMILY, SHE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU IN SPIRIT AND IN YOUR HEART..I LOST MY FATHER AND CAN STILL FEEL HIM ALL AROUND ME ALL THE TIME. SHE WILL STAY WITH YOU IN A WARM SPOT FOREVER.
BE STRONG.

— SUZZANA MOUNTAIN
September 15, 2008 at midnight

My prayers are to the Villalobos Family for loosing a beautiful young lady. I hope you guys stay strong and know that she will be with you guys in spirit.

— S.B.T.
September 15, 2008 at 1:05 a.m.

I am so very sorry for your loss, I know you must have heard that many times, I too watched you on the news and I prayed that you would find your daughter Maria. I want you to know that my tears were with you when I heard the horrible news. I know by the way you spoke of her that she too must have been very proud of all of you as well, her loving friends and family, as you were of her. Just know that when the sun shines down on you, and the rain send it's tears your way...she will be watching over her family and friends. My prayers are and will awlays be with you, Heaven must have needed your beautiful angel,many angels were need that day and is the only way I can understand why they were taken. God be with you Terrie Roses

— Terrie Roses
September 15, 2008 at 3:51 a.m.

I too was saddened to her about the loss of Maria. My fiance' and I were both touched when we heard Maria's mother decribe her on television. I really hoped the outcome would've been different. My families thoughts and prayers go out to the Villalobos family and all those who lost a loved. God bless.

— Mike M.
September 15, 2008 at 6:43 a.m.

My boyfriend and I were glued to the TV watching the coverage of the crash. We rememebered a family member being interviewed, and desperatly searching for Maria Villalobos. We are saddened to learn that she was among those who did not make it. Our hearts and thoughts go out to you and your family.

— Kimber&Hugo
September 15, 2008 at 7:49 a.m.

I will say a prayer for Maria and her family. I did not know Maria yet I have this horrible feeling in my stomach how a young life is taken away so quickly. May god give you all the strength to move on and may Maria be blessed eternally.

— Larry Benavidez
September 15, 2008 at 7:56 a.m.

To Maria's mother,
I too saw you on Tv Friday evening. It made me cry to hear you ask, please someone to tell me where my daughter's at. I could only pray that she would be found for you.
May her dreams stay strong and close to your heart, god bless you and your family.

— Anna
September 15, 2008 at 9:40 a.m.

To the Villalobos family,
I am so sorry for the loss of Maria. My heart is truly saddened for your family and all the other families that lost a loved one. My daughter too, goes to FIDM and takes the Metro. I worry everytime my daughter boards the train, so this hits close to home. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you.. may you find peace in time.
May God Bless you!

— Linda, Lakewood, CA
September 15, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.

First of all I want to begin by saying I am so sorry for the loss of Maria Elena. I also was one of the many who seen Maria's Mom on T.V. Friday night. When I seen her waiting to hear from her daughter on Friday Night just broke my heart. I was praying to GOD that she would be able to reunite with her daughter. She was on my mind the whole night. And when I seen the news Saturday night it broke my heart to see Maria's aunt crying for her loss. It made me shed plenty of tears myself. My condolences go out to The Villalobo's Family for losing such a beautiful angel. I'm also sure that Maria will always be looking down on the whole family. R.I.P Maria Elena Villalobos

— Erika
September 15, 2008 at 9:51 a.m.

The day of the accident I saw one of Maria's relatives searching for her on the news and my heart just cried; a worry for this family has filled me since then. I hoped that she was to be found and reunited with her loved ones. My prayers are with them and with Maria.

— Elizabeth Jaimes
September 15, 2008 at 10:10 a.m.

I too saw you on TV Friday night at Chatsworth High. I remember the reporter asking you what Maria looked like and your comment was "she's tall and beautiful, just beautiful". I immediately felt more pain that I had previously watching this horrific event. I have two boys your daughters age and it just struck me at that present moment that everything can be taken away in a heart beat, it doesn't matter what your age is. May God bless you and family with lots of love and wonderful memories of Maria. I gave blood early Saturday morning but I'm sorry it was too late to help Maria. I watched the news all weekend and when I discovered she had passed away, I was heart broken. My family and I are truly very sorry for your loss.

— Donna
September 15, 2008 at 10:36 a.m.

Dear Villalobos Family,

After watching the Friday night news, and hearing of the tragic Metro Link accident, I observed the interviews with Maria's aunt and sister. It was painful listening to them state that they had been searching for Maria without success. That night and thereafter, I prayed that Maria would be found among those that were injured and able to recover.

To my horror, I just discovered this morning, that Maria's name is on the list of those who passed on. Having lost a son and a daughter who were young adults like Maria, it never seems to make any sense. But I do understand what your family and the families of the other passengers who lost their loved ones that day are going through. This is my prayer for all: "May God lead you, guide you, strengthen you, protect you and (when necessary), send his angels to lift and carry each and every one of you" each and every day, until the day comes that you are reunited with your loved ones in his kingdom. I send love, hope and prayers for all.

— Lita Quesada (Norwalk, CA)
September 15, 2008 at 10:48 a.m.

I also saw Maria's sister on T.V. on Friday and my heart and prayers went out to her immediately. I have four sisters, one of which is eighteen years old and who will be using the Amtrak to commute to UCSB from Los Angeles on some weekends. My sister starts her Freshman year in one week. I can't begin to explain the impact Maria Elena's death made on me. I prayed that they would find her safe. I'm so sorry to hear that she didn't make it. I made a promise to God to remember Maria Elena and her sister and to pray for them every time my sister gets on that train...

— Jessica
September 15, 2008 at 11:03 a.m.

Dear Maria's Mother,

I too was touched by your interview on the news Friday night. You were so brave in your search for Maria and the way you portrayed your "beautiful, tall" daughter - the connention you shared with her was so very clear. She was extremely fortunate to have been loved and cared for by you. May you know in the months and years ahead how blessed you were to have had this special, talented soul as your daughter for 18 years. And may you continue to focus on that part of her life, not the tragic way in which she departed. Many blessings to you and your family at this difficult time.

— Kim (a former FIDM advisor)
September 15, 2008 at 11:31 a.m.

Maria was such an amazing girl. i will never ever forget her beautiful face. she always made me laugh and i never saw her in a bad mood, i love heer so much. she will always be remembered. and forever in our hearts. shes in a better place now. may she rest in peace. and i hope to see her soon.!!!!

— Bryttney Christmann
September 15, 2008 at 11:35 a.m.

god bless maria
god bless train 111
i will always remember sept 11th
but now ill always remember sept 12th as well

— Jason
September 15, 2008 at 11:48 a.m.

To Maria's family. I too was glued to the TV afer seeing maria's sister. I hoped and I prayed that she would be found. I cried so hard when I saw this list and still continue to cry. No words can pssibly discribe what you are all going though. My deepest love for the family.

— Isabel
September 15, 2008 at 11:52 a.m.

Like many of the comments, I so wanted Maria to be found well. I hoped that her cell phone was out of her reach, but that was not God's plan. Peace and strength to all of the families. With faith and prayer, it will come.

Tina

— Tina
September 15, 2008 at 12:39 p.m.

I saw you on the news pleading for the safety of your daughter and my heart broke. I prayed that you be one of the lucky ones and find her.
It pains me to learn that she is among the 26 lost in the accident. My heart truly hurts for you and your circle of loved ones. May God be with you during this very difficulet time and may your beautiful Maria rest in all eternity.
You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
God Bless You...

— Melissa
September 15, 2008 at 1:14 p.m.

i knew maria my first two years of high school at mhs. she was absolutely wonderful and always had me smiling even on my worst days. she be in my heart. rest in peace my dear.

— chloe' kyffin
September 15, 2008 at 1:27 p.m.

As I view the list of names it brings me more sadness to see that Maria's name is on it. All weekend I thought of her and what the reported had asked her mother... How can you describe her to us, she replied... She's beautiful. Her face filled with pain, concern and desperation is still clear in my mind.
To the Villalobos may you find the strength from god to be at peace in your hearts for your loss.

— Carmen
September 15, 2008 at 1:33 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. The roster could have not been more sad reading her name on the list...

— Nancy
September 15, 2008 at 1:48 p.m.

To the family of Maria,
I can't stop crying, I am so so sorry for your loss. She was in my Industry Sewing class in the morning. She finished her final and gave me a hug, and said she would see me next quarter. Maria was a great student, she was in class on time everyweek and her sewing was beautiful. All her marks were the highest in class, she received an "A".
I know that God's arms are around her and your family right now. My prays are with you.
God Bless you all. Maria will be missed !!

— Vickie Peters instructor at FIDM
September 15, 2008 at 1:56 p.m.

Dear Family Villalobos, like many others I too was glued to the TV saw Maria's sister interview. Was deeply sadden to see her desperately looking for her, and wishing Maria would be found well. Sadly saw her name in the list, began to cry, and amagine her family's pain, and suffering. My deepest condolences, love, and prayers to Maria's family, so sorry!

— Ruby, (Oxnard, Ca)
September 15, 2008 at 2:06 p.m.

I'm so sorry about your daughter. I saw you on TV looking for her. I prayed for you all night, that she would be found safe. My heart goes out to you and your family. May God Bless you.

— Evelyn
September 15, 2008 at 2:22 p.m.

Dear Mrs. Villalobos: I'm so very sorry for your loss. I saw you on the news. I had hoped and prayed your daughter was OK. But now I pray that God gives you strength to get through this horrible tragedy.

Maria is in heaven now, designing beautiful gowns for the angels. She is also in God's loving arms. May God bless you and your family, and may He bless Maria who is now with the angels in Heaven. Maria is OK. She is in a beautiful place right now, and God is watching over her. Have faith that you will see her again someday.

— Eileen
September 15, 2008 at 2:36 p.m.

I just happened to catch the news interview with Maria's Sister Friday night. I have been thinking about it all weekend wondering if they have found the girl (my age) from FIDM. I was listening to the radio this morning and heard there was a list of names of the people who have passed. I went down the line and began to cry seeing the name of Maria Villalobos. I did not know this girl other then that she was the 18 year old girl that her family was desperatly looking for friday night.

I was supposed to ride that train the previous friday but i decided to drive instead because i wanted to do a road trip alone.

There are few things in life that happen that open your eyes on how fast life really is.

Im can not began to express my deepest sorrow to Maria's family but i want you to know that from reading people's comments on her she seemed like a ALL AROUND great girl.

I am very sorry for you lost.

— A. Johnson
September 15, 2008 at 2:48 p.m.

I remember Maria Elena she was always smiling and i remember when she was showing me her fashion for clothes ideas in a notebook she had she would of become a good fashion stylist. we will miss you. R.I.P Maria Elena

— Ana Chavez
September 15, 2008 at 3:45 p.m.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I saw news reports late Friday night on how you were frantically looking for her and I wished that she'd be okay. I used to take metrolink years ago and encountered many FIDM students and somehow this struck a chord in me. She must have been a very special person. Take care.

— Mary Lou
September 15, 2008 at 3:54 p.m.

like many other people i saw you and your family friday night. i cried with you and prayed you would find your beautiful daughter safe. i'm so sorry for the pain that you will now endure. nothing i can write will ease your pain all anyone can do is pray that you and your family come through this knowing your daughter touched many people even though we never knew her. god bless you.

— Melissa
September 15, 2008 at 4:09 p.m.

Belen, Mother of Maria Elena Villalobos

There is not enough words to express my sadness. When Veronica was on the news and I heard her crying and pleading for Maria Elena it broke my heart. Belen I cannot say that I know what you and Gonzalo are going through. But can only imagine the pain and sorrow one feels to lose a child. My family and I are very sorry for what has happened to your family. We are also very sad that we didn't have the opportunity to know Maria Elena. Only remember her at around 3 years old. Our prayers go out to all of you~ Villalobos and Gonzalez Family.

May God shine his light upon all of you.

— Blanca
September 15, 2008 at 4:50 p.m.

I AM SO SAD FOR YOUR LOST. WE SAT IN OUR LIVING FRIDAY WHILE THIS HORRIFIC ACCIDENT HAPPEN, AND AS PARENTS WE WERE TOUCHED BY THE FAMILIES THAT DESPERATELY TRIED TO FIND THEIR CHILDREN. WE ARE SO VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOST AND EVEN IF WE HAVE NEVER MET AS PARENTS WE CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH.GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES AND REMEMBER HER SMILE AND THE HAPPY TIMES YOU SHARED AS A FAMILY

— CONNIE FIELDS
September 15, 2008 at 4:54 p.m.

To the mourners of Maria Villalobos...

I was in the same class with Maria at FIDM, and although we didn't really know each other well she automatically lit up the room when she walked in. She was a little shy, but very polite and well spoken.
I wanted to get to know her better, and all I remember from her is how much she loved In & Out...
I hope that wherever she is that she is happy, and that everyone that loves her can go through this tragedy as easy as possible.
I don't pray often, but she will be in my prayers along with the Villalobos family.

— Heather (FIDM student)
September 15, 2008 at 5:22 p.m.

Even though I'm a stranger I can't help but feel devastated at the loss of such a wondeful young lady. When I saw the clip of her aunt on the news I hoped they would say she was found ok or with only minor injuries. I keep asking of all the victims, why did she have to be one of the dead? I know that may sound wrong but she was so young and just started to begin her new life. I got choked up when I saw her picture, what a stunning young woman she was. My heart goes out to her family and friends, all I can tell you is to celebrate her life and what she accomplished. Forget any regrets, just remember the good times you had with her. May God keep you in His hands, and may you all be reunited in the Kingdom of Heaven.

— N.L.
September 15, 2008 at 6:36 p.m.

I saw her mother waiting for her on the news and this whole weekend i kept thinking about the mom and if she was ever reunited with her daughter. I am so heart broken that didnt happen. God Bless her family and may they find comfort on day....

— Jasmin
September 15, 2008 at 6:57 p.m.

I'm sure your sister Maria is in heaven creating couture wings for all the angels in heaven including my frind Chris who is also among the victims of this tragic event. I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

— Rosa Rios
September 15, 2008 at 7:10 p.m.

Maria was a good family friend. In fact, I am putting together a montage for her funeral. May she always and forever Rest In Peace. Her smile lit up every room she walked into. My heart goes out to Belen, Gonzalo, Bianca, and Raymon Villalobos, the family of Maria Elena.

I Loving Memory of Maria Elena Villalobos.
Rest in Peace Nena.

— Tyler Cherry
September 15, 2008 at 8:51 p.m.

To Maria's Family-
You are experiencing every parent's worst nightmare and there are no words that are going to bring back your beautiful daughter or erase your pain and for that I am truly sorry.
I hope your faith and all these messages bring you some comfort. Please remember the happy times and let that and your love for Maria help you thru the times of sadness and anger you will experience.
We weep for you and your family. My daughter will be starting classes at FIDM soon and this really struck us hard even thought we never met Maria. I hope that someone out there with some fashion clout will run Maria's line in honor of her memory and so that her dream lives on.

— Karin
September 15, 2008 at 9:03 p.m.

I am so deeply saddened for the loss of your beloved daughter. May the lord give you and your family the comfort and strength during this difficult time. Your daughter will be in all of our hearts as she touched so many people lives she didn't even know.

Naomi Lopez

— Naomi Lopez
September 15, 2008 at 9:23 p.m.

I join the familiar names I see above from Maria's elementary school days in sending blessings to the Villalobos family.

— Eileen Richter
September 15, 2008 at 9:32 p.m.

I am so deeply saddened by the tragedy. My prayers go out to the villalobos Family.

— Jerry J Pomona Ca
September 15, 2008 at 10:25 p.m.

I'll never forget Maria's laugh and her smile. I still remember reading her article in our school newspaper about fashion and how passionate she was. Every time I saw her she was smiling. I even remember seeing her at graduation with her family and how happy she was. I hope she knows we all love her and her influence will live forever. You and your family will be in my prayers.

— MHS student
September 15, 2008 at 10:29 p.m.

my heart goes out to all of you who lost your loved one.

I find myself glued to the screen, listening and reading repeatedly the sad stories of the tragic train accident of Friday. My eyes well up with tears, my heart aches, and although I cannot personally relate to their families' pain, I feel a connection with all of them. You see, I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, just like many of the innocent souls that were lost that day. Unlike them however, I have another day on earth. Another breath to take. Another song to sing. Another person to hug. Another person to love. I have another day to live. and I realize how truly blessed I am. This has truly opened my eyes.

I have decided to take advantage of each moment I have from this day forward. I will not waste another day. I know many people including myself, always repeat this quote over and over: "Live life to the fullest, life is too short" but how many of us actually practice that? How many moments of our precious lives to we spend on being negative to others, and to ourselves? How many opportunities do we let pass us by because "there's always tomorrow"? How many times to you make the effort to put a smile on someone's face? how many times do we stop and smell the roses? I am negligent in all of the above.

The tragic accident has been a blessing in disguise for me. I am fully committed to being a better person in all aspects of my life. The one and only thing that is guaranteed to us is Death. Because I understand this, I will make sure that when its my time to go I am the person God intended me to be. and in the process, I hope my dreams are fulfilled and I hope to leave a mark in everyone's heart. I refuse to surrender any second of my life to negativity. I will count my blessings every chance I get. So to all those beautiful souls that are now watching us from Heaven, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You did not leave in vain.

— Claudia in Ventura County,Ca
September 15, 2008 at 11:46 p.m.

I don't know the Villalobos Family, but I'm just so sadden by the loss of Maria. She was so young with a promising future ahead of her. I have many nieces and nephew that it breaks my heart to see young people pass. My husband graduated many years ago from FIDM and he too use to commute on the train. Maria may you rest in peace.

— Lea
September 16, 2008 at 1:53 a.m.

my heart goes out to you seeing a mother lose a child is the most horrible thing god chooses our fate why we ask about his choises but we dont get any answers but its gods wish

— sandie s
September 16, 2008 at 2:19 a.m.

This is a human tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to all of the victims. We must keep their memories alive through our actions.

— sj
September 16, 2008 at 10:29 a.m.

To The Villalobos Family,

What a wonderful family you were to Maria - you let her live out her dreams... May she rest in peace and may you find peace in her lovliness every day!

— Jean
September 16, 2008 at 10:33 a.m.

Dear Mrs. Belen Villalobos

As everyone else i saw Mrs. Villalobos waitng to be contacted by her daughter Maria Elena, as a mother of a 18 yr old Boy i felt your pain, i could feel myself stop breathing when you cryed not knowing. I had almost an experience like that with my son, but not as tragic as yours, but i stepped in your shoes that day of not knowing, and all i can say is that you are a brave women, i am deeply sadden, by the news of your daughter's death, and it sadden our whole family, i will pray for you to have peace of mind, only god knows the reason for everthing, i will always remember her not by her death but by the way she was full of life and the things she wanted to acomplish, i hope someone out will use her designs and make her dream come true for her.

— Betty/ Los Angeles
September 16, 2008 at 10:38 a.m.

I did not know Maria but watching her mother on the news desperately searching for her tore at my heart. Being a mom myself I can't even begin to imagine the pain in her heart. May God bless you and your family in this time of need and may he surround your family with angels to let them know you are ok.

— Cathy
September 16, 2008 at 12:48 p.m.

My prayers go out to you. God must have needed an Angel.

My heart went out to the mother when I saw her on TV Friday night, looking for her daughter. What a beautiful young lady, it does not seem fair.

May the Lord give the family peace and may this woman's spirit never be far away.

— Ruben Longoria
September 16, 2008 at 5:22 p.m.

rip

— juana
September 16, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

god bless u!!

— neis
September 16, 2008 at 5:51 p.m.

I too was a student at the Fashion Institute and used the Metrolink as my means of weekly transportation. Words cannot describe the sorrow I feel for her family, friends, and beloved peers. Her creative mind for fashion will forever be a muse to all students at FIDM. My thoughts go out to all her loved ones. <3

— Casey
September 16, 2008 at 8:44 p.m.

i seriously cried it was so sad that thsi tragety happedn she had big dreams
and waent able to achive what she wanted to be
In loving memory Maria Elena Villalobos
R.I.P.

— Maritza aka dexter
September 16, 2008 at 10:28 p.m.

I vividly remember Maria Elena's mom on Friday evening worried sick about her lil' girl and describing her as "beautiful" FIDM student. I am deeply saddened to see that she was on this list. To her family I hope they stay strong and know that Maria is in a better place with her and will always live in their hearts..

— jessica
September 16, 2008 at 11:48 p.m.

I vividly remember Maria Elena's mom on Friday evening worried sick about her lil' girl and describing her as "beautiful" FIDM student. I am deeply saddened to see that she was on this list. To her family I hope they stay strong and know that Maria is in a better place now and she will always live in their hearts.. forever... RIP Maria Elena

— jessica
September 16, 2008 at 11:49 p.m.

I am so unbelievably saddened right now to find out that Maria is no longer with us. I met her this quarter in industry sewing. She was amazing and I was always trying to keep up with her because she was so good and would always get her pieces done first and perfectly. Maria, I didn't kno u well but I admired u, ur unique style and talent. May God be with ur family during this most difficult time. You are forever engraved in my memory.

— Erin (FIDM)
September 17, 2008 at 12:37 a.m.

I was hoping she wouldn't be on the list of fatalities. I wish no one was on the list. I was so shocked with saddness and disbelief. I am so sorry for your lost. I saw the mother and her sister, I cried as they spoke of her on the tv. Please accept my condolences. I am so sorry. I will pray.
God Bless, C

— Claudia
September 17, 2008 at 2:26 a.m.

Seeing the light that beams from your child's smile, with the twinkle in their eyes, is one that brings an instant smile to any parent. Safety for them from the moment they are born is a lifetime concern. When your child is not within sight prays instantly start, but when they are seen again in your presences the relief of knowing they are safe brings on a thankful pray. Your little girl, Maria, is now among the angels that is present with you at all times. She will always be with you, be strong, is what she would say cause she loves you. Times will heal the pain, but memories are a lifetime. All my prays and love to your family from our family.

— Corpus Family
September 17, 2008 at 10:26 a.m.

Heaven is full of talented and special people. Maria is one of them.
You're an inspiration to us! God Bless your family with much love and peace. My prayers are with you.

— Claudia
September 17, 2008 at 10:34 a.m.

I saw the news on Saturday, where the family was looking for her at the hospital. It was very heartbreaking knowing she passed away. My prayers are with the family.

— Leslie, 21
September 17, 2008 at 11:51 a.m.

i dont know maria but i just wanted to give you my condolences and im very sorry for this tragety i dont know how it feels to loose someone so special but here iam praying for you guys and again sorry very sorry may god bless you and your family when i saw da news dat her aunt was looking for her @ holy cross hospital,then about 2min later da other breaking news was just showing her picture damn dat just broke my heart knowing you were looking for her @ da hospital and on the other side they were anouncing her dead gosh it hurted me so much dat i started crying but again sorry and godbless you and everyone in your family

— marisol gonzalez
September 17, 2008 at 12:28 p.m.

My prayers for the Villalobos family. Seek comfort in Jehovah. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4.

— Javier/Colorado
September 17, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.

To Maria's family I'm so sorry to have heard the loss of your daughter. You seemed so strong on TV when you were looking for your precious angel. I heard the news the next day that your little angle was taken away. She will always be with you in spirit and will always be your angel. My prayers and thoughts reach out to you and your family. May maria be the best of fashion designer up in heaven with the many other angels that were taken from us on that tragic friday.

— Teresa
September 17, 2008 at 4:14 p.m.

Like the other comments above, I also saw Maria's sister at the Moorpark Station when she was live on the news looking for her sister and later her mother looking for her. I was also hoping to here that she was going to be okay, but as I found out the worst. I feel for the family and her sister as she is now in heaven looking down on your family. I don't pray often but I did that day as I found out about the accident 20 minutes after it happened.
I understand about the family feel on the trains as I also have meet a friend on the train and she is going to school to be in the acting industry. That was a good day and we had a lot of fun talking on the train. I used to be a city bus driver for Santa Maria, CA and knew a lot of young school students that had there whole life's ahead of them and I connected well with them as I'm in my 20's myself. They were as great kids, just like Maria and would give me a smile everyday and make my job a good place to be. I hope and pry for the best for your family. Take care.

— Josh Thurman/Pismo Beach, CA
September 17, 2008 at 5:21 p.m.

R.I.P Maria. I will say a prayer for you and your family. I too went to Fidm and I hoped and prayed that you were okay. Rest in peace!

— Natalie ,
September 17, 2008 at 5:45 p.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Via con dios Maria!

— Fred
September 17, 2008 at 11:06 p.m.

Im so sadded to hear the news that maria didn't make it. i watched the news saturday and when i found out i cryed for her family. Her wonderful smile would light up any room. God Bless The Villalobos Family through this difficult time. just remember maria is in a better place slways smiling

— Daniel
September 18, 2008 at 2:43 a.m.

It was a beautiful, bright, spirited young girl I saw in a photo. Maria reminded me so much a young co-worker, her looks, her smile, her hopes; that was when the tears were shed. What a loss for the community and the future!
Heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and all who knew her. May God bless you all, and hold you close always.

— Janet
September 18, 2008 at 7:49 a.m.

I am an Alumni of FIDM and my heart goes out to the family of Maria. As a fellow Metro commuter myself i feel saddened with this lost, such a young girl full of life, dreams and hopes.
May God bless you...

— Gabby
September 18, 2008 at 10:55 a.m.

I never knew Maria but reading her story and all these commentaries was so heart-wrenching, I broke down in tears. All the victims' stories are heart-breaking but this one in particular, as a bright, ebullient young woman with a promising future ahead of her was cut down in her prime. I can only hope that the family, along with other victims' famillies will direct all their grief and anger to push for stronger safety measures and better rail design to prevent such a crash from ever happening again.

— Eva Uran
September 18, 2008 at 8:07 p.m.

Dearest Maria's Mother,

My WHOLE HEART goes out to you. I was just at Moorpark High School, they had such wonderful things to say about your daughter. You and your husband raised a beautiful, kind,funny, very talented daughter. She will be designing clothes in heaven. I will be thinking of you and your family.

Maria Elena Villalobos, RIP.

— Toni
September 18, 2008 at 9:20 p.m.

I am a student at FIDM studying fashion design and feel a personal connection to Maria. I pray for your family to feel the peace of the Spirit though this season of sorrow. I hope for you to have an eternal perspective and remain confident that you can be with Maria again on the other side. Let your heart be comforted in this = ) All me love,

— Charlotte
September 18, 2008 at 10:15 p.m.

What a lovely smile. May you rest in peace, Maria. I saw your mother on the news - she spoke about you so sweetly. I know you were loved and that you will be missed. God bless.

— Jill in Long Beach
September 18, 2008 at 10:37 p.m.

i know exactly how you feel, my father had passed in that accident, i will pray for him and the whole family. HUGS

— Mey Chao
September 19, 2008 at 9:56 a.m.

I'm so truly sorry for your loss. I saw you on the news that night searching for your daughter. Of all the stories your's stood out. It was how you said your daughter wanted to be a fashion designer. And how you said she was beautiful and tall. I started crying i couldn't hold back the tears. I so wanted your daughter to be alright. I was and am so saddened that she she didn't make it. I have a daughter shes 18 and is such a blessing in our lives. She has type 1 diabetes and works so hard at what she sets out to do. Her name is very similar to your daughters name. I can't even type right now I'm so very sorry words can not express how i feel at this moment. I know that she is looking down from heaven with that golden beautiful smile of hers. Looking after everyone that loved her so. God Bless you and your family.

— Maria
September 19, 2008 at 12:06 p.m.

valerie is my babys name and she started changing my life since day 1 may god bless your baby

— ricardo in tj
September 19, 2008 at 2:23 p.m.

I has been a really sad tragedy. My heart goes out to all the families of the victims. My prayers are with you. God Bless all the families.

— Cindy
September 19, 2008 at 4:15 p.m.

Oh this is so sad, I too saw you and your other daughter on the news waiting to hear from Maria. Your story has stuck in my head all week, and I was hoping she came home to you. I've been super busy all week transitioning to a new job and haven't followed the news. Today as I sit researching the crash I see these comments I can only sit here crying thinking of the agony and grief your family is going through. It's so sad,I can't even imagine how you feel. My God bless you and your family and the soul of your precious daughter.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

— Amy
September 19, 2008 at 6:28 p.m.

My prayers are with the Villalobos family. Maria was a member of my son's MHS 2008 graduating class. The MHS class of 2008, the fashion world and all of Moorpark is in mourning for this wonderful, talented, and beautiful person.

— A Moorpark Mom
September 19, 2008 at 6:29 p.m.

My heart goes out to the family who mourns maria. I'm so sorry.

— Mary
September 19, 2008 at 8:53 p.m.

Maria's family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I wished for the best when I saw Maria's mom and little sister on TV. My most sincere condolescenes on your loss.

— Monica
September 19, 2008 at 11:41 p.m.

my prayers go out to the memory of Maria and her family. i am her age and also studying to be a fashion designer and am heartbroken to hear that her life was cut so short and the world will not get to see her talent. may her soul rest in peace and may peace be with her family.

— trixie
September 20, 2008 at 1:43 a.m.

To Maria's family,

Like many who wrote to offer their condolences, I saw Maria's mom on the news on the night of the tragic accident. I am very saddened to learn about your loss. May you and your family find comfort in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy. I live a mile from the crash site and, whenever I drive past, I can feel the immense loss of people I never knew. My thoughts and prayers will be with Maria and her family whenever I drive past.

— scott
September 20, 2008 at 7:50 p.m.

We waited that horrible long night together for just a word from our loved ones...We sat behind you and your wonderful family watching the tv, drinking cold coffee to stay awake, and praying that we would get news...

We did, we marched that long parking lot dreading the news awaiting us in the little room on the corner. We all new it was there, we all ignored it hoping we would never have to see the inside.

My Dad and I where called in first to learn my husband Dean had just been identified dead. We pulled ourselves together, swiped our tear stained faces, sunglasses in place we leaned on each other hoping to make it to the car before falling apart.

There you where...the beautiful mother of Maria standing outside waiting to hear our news, you where the first I clung to in disbelief.

I am so, so sorry for your loss. My father and I prayed that they would find Maria alive. The families who remained vigiliant throughout the night are forever bound by a bond that no one will ever understand and I hope they never have to.

Please know we share your grief and wish to keep in touch with you. As the dust settles we will need to cling to each other again and if there is anything at all we can do for you and your dear family, please do not hesitate to ask.

Most Sincerely, Kim Brower (Dean Brower's Wife)
kim@pulsedrumming.com

— Kim Brower
September 20, 2008 at 11:30 p.m.

First off, let me say that my deepest condolennces go out to you & your family! I was watching all the coverage of the accident all day long. For an odd reason i was ssssooo saddened when i heard of her death.

May she rest in paradise!<3

& may god give everyone the strength to get through this ordeal! Not just Maria's family but all th familys who suffered a loss!

— C.M.M
September 22, 2008 at 4:29 p.m.

i am truly sorry for your loss.
i watched the news the day of the horrific accident
and saw this family desperately looking for their love one
i was sadden when the coroners office release the names
of those who were deceased and was touched when i saw your name among the others. my sympathy and love goes out to your fam.and prayers may God have you in his arms.

— GodOnlyKnows...
September 24, 2008 at 1:53 p.m.

I wasn't on the train and don't know anyone who was. But my God this whole thing is so terrible. I'm so sorry to anyone feeling pain from this. Time will heal wounds...

— Sara
September 24, 2008 at 3:41 p.m.

I saw your family on the news that awful night waiting for word of your daughter Maria. My heart stopped knowing what it's like to be waiting for a child - not even under those horrible circumstances. I tried to find out what happened hoping & praying that your daughter was going to be OK. When I opened the paper a week ago & they showed the 25 fatalities Maria's face jumped out at me. I read about each & every one & hoped that that beautiful girl with the beautiful & brilliant smile hadn't been come from the Fashion Institute of Design. My heart sank when I read that Maria was one that did not make it. For some reason your family touched me & when I saw her picture I felt that I had such a strong sense of what a wonderful family you are & how deeply you are mourning your loss. To lose a child is such a tragedy but my only hope that one day the happy memories that went along with that smile will be more abundant than the deep grief you & your family are going through at this time. Please know that my thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.

— Barbara Kaeni
September 29, 2008 at 3:17 p.m.

TO MY DEAREST FAM. VILLALOBOS I KNOW WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH IS REALLY HARD .
THERE IS REALLY NO WORDS TO CONSOLE ALL OF US FOR OUR LOSS.
IT HURTS US REALLY BAD TO LOOSE ON OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS
AFTER I KNEW SUCH A LONG TIME AND SUCH A BEATIFULL LIFE SHE HAD.
AFTER ALL SHE WANTED TO BE FAMOUS SHE IS GOING TO GET HER FAME EVEN THOUGH SHE WILL NOT BE WITH US.
I LOVE YOU NENA JUST TO LET YOU KNOW I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU EVER.

— MONICA VILLALOBOS
September 29, 2008 at 6:50 p.m.

Though we all may have lost someone who is a big part of our lives and our hearts and we are not able to replace or fill that emptyness that our love ones have taken with them when they left this world. but i hope that maybe we all can come together and allow each other to come into each others lives since i know that we all share the same pain. when my father passed in that metrolink 2008 crash my life has not been the same and its been very difficult, my father left behind his wife and 5 children and so many grand children, and we all miss and love him so much but talkin about him with my family and remembering all the good times we had with him helps us with our pain of losing him. so i just would like to let you all know i am here if you need to talk or just someone to listen to you. my email is

chaomey82@gmail.com

my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 10:13 a.m.

To Marias Mother and Family,my Godaughter Stephanie lost her boyfriend Jacob on that metrolink train.As we all sat there at the High school waiting to hear word of all the crash victims that friday night I prayed that Maria would be ok. I knew she was a very special and beautiful young lady and loved so much.I remember seeing and hearing your pain,it broke my heart.I didn't see you on TV cause I was at the high school with my brother and his family waiting to hear something on Jacob.It was a horrible night.I just want to say how sorry I am to hear about your daughter. May God in time help you to heal your broken hearts.

— Ron G.(Friend Of Jacob Hefter)
October 3, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

We are so sorry for your loss of such a young person. We lost our son also, Christopher and know the sorrow you must be feeling everyday. May you know our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 2:24 p.m.

I remember when she use to take my brother and i to school everyday freshman year. I also remember when my brother took her to their senior prom. It meant a lot to her.
RIP Maria

— Crystal
October 5, 2008 at 10:04 p.m.

I feel really bad for what happen.When I knew that she was dead I started crying.I wish she wasn't dead.Now she is in heaven and she is a beautiful angel and she is in a safe place.RIP Maria Elena

— Melissa Villalobos
November 9, 2008 at 2:54 p.m.

My Nenita how I miss your beautiful smile, how I miss hearing you laugh...
The pain will never go away. Your room is finally done and I think you would like how it has turned out. I put up the wallpaper you had picked out when we looked online for a designed that you liked, but instead of hearing the smooth sound of your new sewing machine, we only hear the silence. We sit there and look at all the pictures of you and cry. It will be 7 months since you've been gone, but it feels like yesterday. I miss you so, so much.

— Belen(Maria Elena's mom)
April 4, 2009 at 11:24 p.m.

I'm sorry for what happen.Every time I think about her I just want to cry.She had big goals and one of them was to become a Fashion Designer.My favorite dress was her prom dress she looked so beautiful in it.Today she also looks so beautiful.everybody got hurt when they knew she was gone.She will always be in my prayers.We Love You Maria Elena!!!R.I.P Maria Elena

— someone
April 29, 2009 at 3:46 p.m.

rip nena

— monica
July 16, 2009 at 5:18 p.m.

On the 5 year anniversary, the memory of Maria Elena is just as strong. I met her in kindergarten as a sweet, funny little girl. We became close friends in middle school and remained cordial through high school. It still pains me to this day to think about the tragedy. A girl so young and so bright, it's just not fair. My heart goes out to Belen, Gonzalo, Bianca, and Raymon. You all are so strong and I wish you nothing but the best. Maria, I'll never forget you. You have a special place in my memories and I'm grateful to have known you.

— Cindy
September 12, 2013 at 1:59 a.m.

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Keep in mind
  • The Times initially mispelled the name of Michael Hammersley and Beverly Mosley.
  • The coroner's office reported a 26th victim the afternoon of Sept. 15, but a few hours later said the tally was 25.

Chatsworth Metrolink Crash is the Los Angeles Times' database of fatalities from the Sept. 12, 2008, train collision.
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Latest Numbers

25 dead

135 injured

About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.