He loved to play with my daughters. He'd take them outside and swing them around.
— Tim Hammersly, brother
His family did not learn that Hammersly was among the dead until the coroner called them at 2 p.m. the day after the crash. Hammersly had been seated in the first car, behind the engine. His brother said Hammersly, a mail clerk at Los Angeles City Hall, had missed being caught in the deadly 2005 train derailment in Glendale only because he worked a night shift that day.
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35 memories of Michael

Rest in Peace, Michael...

— Touched
September 14, 2008 at 7:31 a.m.

Mike was my best friend. We met in the second grade in Miss Parrelli's class at Crestview Elementary School and became fast friends. We spent many days together over the next 20 years or so. We hadn't seen each other in years as I moved further and further away, ultimately ending up in Long Beach. I only learned of Mike's passing this morning (Sun.) as I just happened to be having breakfast with my sister at her home here in Simi Valley. Mike was my best friend and I'll miss him very much.

— David Moore
September 14, 2008 at 12:44 p.m.

My deepest condolences go out to Michael's family. God Bless you in your time of grief.

— Anonymous
September 14, 2008 at 5:55 p.m.

I remember Mike as being my oldest brother's best friend, but what I remember MOST about Mike was his kind demeanor. As a boy I had no regard for such things. Now, as a man, I know that that is a rare quality in others. I know that the Lord will have mercy on his soul.

— Doug Moore
September 14, 2008 at 6:48 p.m.

May the Lord have your soul in Heaven, as you look upon your family.

— Leo-Los Angeles
September 15, 2008 at 12:10 a.m.

My condolences go out to his family and loved ones.

— Jacqueline
September 15, 2008 at 1:26 a.m.

Dear Mike and Family:
I was very saddened to hear that you are now one of G-d's angels in heaven, taken from your family and your "City of Los Angeles family" on Friday, in such a tragic way.
We remember seeing your smiling face up and down the hallways at City Hall and in the field always saying hello to everyone in your path.
We will all miss you and we will be praying for your family as well. You will forever be in our hearts.
Sheree, Los Angeles City Hall

— Sheree, Los Angeles City Hall
September 15, 2008 at 10:33 a.m.

Mike was our mail carrier and came to our office everyday. He was a loving gentle soul and was always laughing. He loved his family and Star Wars. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

— Debbie
September 15, 2008 at 12:41 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 12:44 p.m.

Mike is absolutely amazing. My prayers and condolences to his friends and family. Our office will miss him dearly. Thank you Mike.

— Mark M Davis CD5
September 15, 2008 at 2:46 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 5:16 p.m.


— Sharon Smith
September 16, 2008 at 6:31 a.m.

Hey Mike...You were a very kind and thoughtful person. We spent many hours together in the comic book store. Your love of science fiction and action figures was like no other. I will miss your smiling face. Your friend always..
Thinking of you and your family..You will be missed by many.


— Linda Fougere
September 16, 2008 at 8:35 a.m.

Hey Mike...I know you will be forever in everyone's memory.
We shared many great times together in the Comic book store and collecting action figures, always looking for the the elusive error or special edition rare. Your smile and laugh was infectious. I will miss you!!!
My thoughts are with your family.

Tator (Komic Kid)

— Tator
September 16, 2008 at 8:56 a.m.

Dear Mike, it was a pleasure waving to you everyday when I would see you out side of your Moms house. May you rest in peace and your family heal from the pain. We on Stinson Street will keep an eye on your Mom for you. The Simon Family

— Terry Simon
September 16, 2008 at 9:05 a.m.


You were always so cheerful when came by our office every day, delivering mail. You will missed, and my prayers are with you and your family.

— Stephanie, GSD Warehouse at Hyperion
September 16, 2008 at 1:17 p.m.

Mike was a nice guy, always in good mood, a good worker, a pal in the mailroom to all. His knowledge of comics, super heroes, movie and tv trivia was amazing. He also liked working with his hands (tools)and repairing things, he a cool guy. R.I.P. buddy.

— Jim Steele
September 16, 2008 at 2:38 p.m.

Michael Hammersley was a good man. He would drive into our parking lot everyday and occasionally would eat his lunch in his van. He then would come into our office and smile briefly at me as he handed me the mail for the day. He never said much, but was always friendly. Sometimes he "[didn't] have anything for [me]." And I would reply "I don't have anything for you either!" Friday, September 12, 2008 was one of those days. "Have a good weekend! See you next Monday," I said to him last. And he replied, "You, too!" as he walked out. I didn't think that that would be the last time I would ever see him.

I did not know what Michael did on the weekends or weeknights, if he was married with children or single and dating, what his interests were, how old he was. I did not know a single personal thing about him. And yet as his passing shocks my very core and I blink away tears, I'm very humbled to have known him and to remember him everyday.

I hope to see him again in heaven, and maybe we can chat over a cup of coffee.

— Susan, CD10 District Office
September 16, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

I was heartbroken to learn that Mr. Hammersley had been on the train. I am a Public Safety Officer and transferred from City Hall over a year ago. During the Morning Watch shift I would always see Mr. Hammersley come in through LA Gate or would see him at the City Hall front desk. He was very dedicated to his job, because I would always see him hurrying about with the mail. If God lets us keep our jobs that we had in life, then I know that I will see you again.

— Mary Jaco- Publc Safety Officer
September 17, 2008 at 11:25 a.m.

My thoughts and prayers goes to the Hammersley family; brothers Timothy, Thomas, Robert (serving in Kuwait) and sister @ Stanford. As most writers, I did not know Michael personally, however he was ALWAYS a very, very, nice friendly and pleasant person as he delivered mail to our office. I can actually speak for all the girls in our office when I say Michael Hammersley will truly be missed. Michael - may your soul find peace beyond the river.

September 17, 2008 at 2:37 p.m.

Mike delivered our inter-office mail. He was always so happy. His smiling face brought joy to my world on a daily basis. I thank him so much for that. Bless him & his Family.

— Smitty - WLA CA
September 17, 2008 at 2:41 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike's family during this very difficult time. Our deepest condolences for the Hammersley Family.

— Maritza and Eric Nieves
September 17, 2008 at 3:53 p.m.

I didn't know him personally but my husband is serving with his brother. I am deeply sorry for your loss and have been praying for your family. May God bless his family and give them peace.

— Glenda Robles
September 18, 2008 at 11:46 a.m.

Mike not only delivered our mail in the wee hours of the morning, but he also delivered a friendly hello and a genuine and warm smile. I always wished I could be like that.

— Shawn, div 18
September 18, 2008 at 9:19 p.m.

I want his family to know that he is deeply missed by all who work LAPD LAXFSD. We miss Mike's (a.k.a. Mr. Speedy) smile and his "Good Mornings". There wasn't a day that he came in without that great beautiful smile. It's those little things that mean a lot. Mike is now in heaven busy being our guardian angel and I'm sure he is smiling down on us. I pray that God will give Mike's family and friends the strength to get through all the difficult times to come.

— Lisette Garcia LAPD LAXFSD
September 19, 2008 at 9:05 a.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 9:30 a.m.

I had just seen Michael on Thursday afternoon when he was showing the guy who was to take his place on daywatch his route. He would always speak when he came into the office and if I was on the phone he would wave. I was shocked he hear of his passing. To his family, remember the good times and always tell others that you care about them, you never know if you will have the chance again. I will miss his, but I won't forget him.

— Hiawatha-WTD
September 22, 2008 at 10:11 a.m.

I've knew Tom and his brothers over the years as we lived a few street over from each other in Simi and attended the same schools. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers to his family.


— Chris Ottinger
September 23, 2008 at 7:59 p.m.

Michael Hammersley
Your Spirit Lives on!

Because of your warmth and caring demeanor
Your arrival brought smiles to our face

Because we all knew, when we saw you Mike,
Our help was already in place!
Your glowing face had meanings untold, this poem can't begin to describe
But for starters, you were a man of integrity,
With a generous heart you couldn't hide

The City of Los Angeles
has lost a family member ~ never, ever to be replaced!
We never heard an unkind word in anything you had to say
Instead, you gave us balance that makes us proud today
To know you were among us, and in our hearts you will always stay!

With closing thoughts,
few knew you were a major ' Trekkie' fan
So, the Heavens above add another Star to a band of heavenly grace.
My friend, our lives will feel such a void as we process and accept what's true. . .
But know that your spirit lives on and on in
Memory and in Truth!

By Chandra Mosley
September 16, 2008

— Chandra Mosley, Los Angeles
September 25, 2008 at 2:36 p.m.

I will always remember Michael for his cheerful "hello" as
he rushed in to pick up the mail. No matter how fast he worked he always said a few things, like "I won't be here next week, I am going on vacation". I would tease him and say 'again?' and he would explain that he had accumulated too much time and he had to take it.

I remember when I went to another division to work some OT and he came rushing in and stopped short with a shocked expression on his face. We did get a laugh of that. Michael, I am glad I knew you...

— Nina, retired LAPD
September 29, 2008 at 5:24 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


my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 9:47 a.m.

We are so sorry for your loss. We lost our son Christopher also in that accident. May the wonderful memories you have help you through this most difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

— Roy & Donna Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 1:48 p.m.

I just learned of this awful news today. I had met Mike back in the 1980s through our common hobby of collecting models.

He was always generous, fair and friendly.
I think what really gets to me is how innocent he was. A rare quality in this age and one that can be attributed to his family.

My prayers and thoughts go out to his family at this time .. Mike was a great guy!


— William Malouf
November 14, 2008 at 2:25 p.m.

I was 12 years old when I lost my uncle mike. He always had a big smile on his face and he always knew how to make you laugh. He knew alot about things but what he knew the most was how to love. He treated me and my sisters all the same none of us was ever left out. He loved his family very much and My uncle mike will always be in my heart .I LOVE YOU UNCLE MIKE.

— Kristen hammersley
March 27, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

It has been a few years since the tragic accident. Today I learned of the death of Mike. So sad. I worked with him for many years. I will never forget Mike.

— Mark Fishlowitz
May 3, 2011 at 9 p.m.

Share a memory of Michael.

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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.

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.