Robert Martin Sanchez

Robert Martin Sanchez, 46

Died: September 12, 2008
He was so alive and always so up. I never met anyone so up. That's why it's so difficult to imagine that Rob is dead.
— Lilian Barber, friend
Sanchez died at the helm of a Metrolink train after apparently failing to stop at a signal near Chatsworth and colliding with an oncoming Union Pacific train. The crash, the worst in modern California history, killed 24 others and injured 135.
 Permalink  Delicious  Digg  Facebook  Twitter

166 memories of Robert

I know that in this society, the TV is quick to be the judge and the jury because people want answers. I hope that everyone reserves judgment until all investigations have been completed.

My condolences to Mr. Sanchez's family and loved ones.

September 15, 2008 at 2:52 p.m.

My heart and prayers goes out to the family of Mr. Sanchez.

— Cece
September 15, 2008 at 2:52 p.m.

May God Bless You.

— Vicki
September 15, 2008 at 3:13 p.m.

May God bless you.

— Unknown
September 15, 2008 at 3:19 p.m.

God Bless you Robert Sanchez. My prayers to you and your family.

— Kim
September 15, 2008 at 4:02 p.m.

I lost someone dearly on that train as well as a lot of people did and I am very hurt. I believe it was God's plan all along, whatever the reason for the accident Mr. Sanchez's family also deserves some peace. My deepest condolences to the family as well... to Err is human but to forgive is divine.

— still trying to forgive
September 15, 2008 at 4:21 p.m.

My heart goes out to the Sanchez family. I am praying for God to give you strength and for his love and peace to surround all of you.

— Lora Hudson
September 15, 2008 at 4:27 p.m.

I would agree with the first sentiment. Please do not pass judgment until all the facts are revealed. In the event it is determined an error was made, please FORGIVE. We ALL make mistakes.

I've endured tragedy in my life (lost two family members in TWA FLIGHT 800 in 1996) and casting blame doesn't bring back your loved ones. In fact it prolongs the healing process.

I live less than a half mile from the site and am reminded of the incident on a minute-by-minute bases. My prayers are with ALL families who may have lost someone and for those who were injured. My prayers especially go out to the Sanchez family who probably had an exceptional son, brother, uncle, neighbor. Etc., but unfortunately we don't get to hear that side of the story. He obviously was a caring man as he adopted 4 dogs (so they report).

God had a need for the people who perished in the accident, as he had a need for my two family members when they lost their lives in a commercial plane crash. I leave you with a sentiment a little girl wrote to the surviving family members of the TWA crash:

Departure: Chatsworth
Arrival: Heaven

— Wendee, Chatsworth, CA
September 15, 2008 at 4:33 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sanchez family. Accidents happen!

— Mel
September 15, 2008 at 4:50 p.m.

We can not judge without knowing what truly happen. It is easily to blame the dead that can not longer speak. Lets not be the judge of what has not being confirmed. Anything could happen in train 111. Robert rest in peace, and will leave it to God's will. Everything happens for a reason.
My condolences to the Sanchez family. I have no doubt Robert Sanchez was a magnificient friend and great man. Rest in peace.

— anonymous
September 15, 2008 at 5:13 p.m.

Accidents happen but tell that to my friend and co-worker Chris Aiken.

— unknown
September 15, 2008 at 7:11 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sanchez family. We are very sorry for your loss. At any given time on any given day, we all take life for granted. We think that life will last forever, then tragedy strikes to remind us how precious life really is. Robert may you rest in peace and that God be with you.

— Laureen, Sanger, CA
September 15, 2008 at 7:14 p.m.

To the Sanchez Family - I met your Rob way back on my first train ride with Louie in 2003 - he had a warm smile, wonderful personality, a twinkle in his eye - always a wave from his window - whether 'pulling or pushing' the train. Was an ongoing joke for the Friday ride - 'Hey Patti - what the heck you doing on the late train' - Hey Rob - just you move your butt to the front and get us goin'. Also - Hey Rob - we took a vote - let's make it a nonstop to Moorpark - he never failed to require a recount - we always found everyone wanted their own stop..... He was the best of the daily ride. Always taking us safe and sound into Moorpark. Sanchez Family - I'm so sorry for your troubles. Will always remember him with a smile and a wave from that open window. He was a good and gracious man - always a professional with his riders best interest in mind. I've missed him since I knew he'd left us.

— Patti Austin-Murray
September 15, 2008 at 8:23 p.m.

My most and sincerest of condolonces go to the Sanchez family. It was a shock to hear the name of Robert Sanchez (train engineer, crestline) on the news...but I had to confirm and once I saw his photo I couldn't believe it. I had the honor to know Robert, he was one of the sweetest, friendliest, caring and kindest person I have ever met. He always had a smile on his face along with a great sense of humor. He would go out of his way for friends, family and anyone he knew. He moved a few years back to Crestline, where he had his home and adopted a dog (greyhound). He was so happy and he enjoyed his job. I know for a fact that this was an accident, he never wanted harm upon anyone. The Sanchez family is in my prayers and all the families that have lost their dear ones in this tragic accident. Robert may you rest in peace and now I know u are with the ones that you loved and loved you.

September 15, 2008 at 8:48 p.m.

Blame and anger do not cure grief but prayers can help the soul. Condolences to all who are suffering and to the young men who were Robert's train friends and his family, I'll be praying for you all.

— Anonymous
September 15, 2008 at 9:58 p.m.

so many people are suffering because of what happened that day, even mr sanchez family !! have some consideration for his family too, regardless of whose fault. how many of you have made a terrible mistake and people have suffered? there is only one perfect man that has walked this earth. Judge not ! we are all only human

— me
September 15, 2008 at 11:27 p.m.

I agree with the first comment. My thoughts and prayers to the Sanchez family. My heart goes out to you during these difficult times. I did not know Robert, but from the picture, he seemed like a very nice man. My deepest condolence to the Sanchez family and all the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic accident.

— Lanie
September 15, 2008 at 11:36 p.m.

my heart felt Condolences too all that have suffered from this terrible thing that has happened.

— again me
September 15, 2008 at 11:38 p.m.

Mr. Sanchez is only human and we all make mistakes. Please do not judge a man who devoted his life to do what he loved to do.

— Mike
September 15, 2008 at 11:38 p.m.

We all make mistakes, I suppose. Some pay more for them than others. I hope in the end -- for all involved -- that this sad turn of events is more complicated than it initially appears. My thoughts go out to Robert and his family, just as they do to the other deceased and their grieving families. . .

— Mark in LA
September 16, 2008 at 12:24 a.m.

Our society has a beliefs problem, We believe that dying is bad....See u in Heaven

— Denis
September 16, 2008 at 2:42 a.m.

Richard Sanchez made a mistake. We are all humans who occasionally make mistakes. His may have resulted in the deaths of 24 (counting him) 25 innocent people. And many more injured.

Hopefully his "playful" nature did not result in him text messaging at the moment he should have been responding to a red light. Of course, the eventual findings will take much time to come out. My condolences to both his family and to ALL the other families who lost loved ones on that date.

— William in LA
September 16, 2008 at 4:53 a.m.

my condolences to you and your family for your loss

— teresa
September 16, 2008 at 6:45 a.m.

Hours after the crash, the Metrolink representative spoke prematurely--who knows or cares why--and planted the seed of blame in some people's minds. It was pathetic to see that despite no hard information or proof, many people ran with it, succumbing to a medieval zeal to see someone hang. We still have no reason to believe that human error was a factor. Even if it turns out that someone made a mistake, I believe that person would wish it undone a thousand times. My heart goes out to Mr. Sanchez's family, who not only have to endure the loss of a loved one, but the tarring and feathering of those who have appointed themselves judge and jury. May the victims rest in peace.

— Anonymous in Vermont
September 16, 2008 at 7:40 a.m.

To his family my deepest condolences I know they are going thru a hard time. Whatever Mistake he did has NOTHING to do with his family, they are after all just like the rest of us who also lost someone on that train.
As for Mr. Sanchez I guess for him it should be a sign of relief to be counted amongst the tragedies, because I am sure he would have not had peace if he was still alive knowing the responsibility he had at having so many people killed... it is hard to forgive and forget, but as someone else said it will definitely not bring our beloved ones back.

— SIlvia
September 16, 2008 at 8 a.m.

I read the bios of those who died on the train, and it appears they were all very special people. It's tragic events like this happen in life, but they do, all too often. For some reason we always want to place blame on someone or something to justify what has happened. Sadly, it doesn't change anything, nor does it comfort the loved ones of the deceased. Try to keep the memories of the loved and lost close to your heart, and not harbor hate. What's done is done. It's our job to pick up the pieces and make the best out of what's left of our lives. My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims of this unfortunate occurance.

— Chuck in Michigan
September 16, 2008 at 8:02 a.m.

God Bless ALL the families, only God knows when it's time to go home (HEAVEN) ~

— Huntington Beach Resident
September 16, 2008 at 8:39 a.m.

I was one of the crew memeber of a ambulance that responded to the accident on that day. I trasported many people that day. I just wanted to say. I'm sorry for your lose.

— Thomas EMS
September 16, 2008 at 9:29 a.m.

No one knows yet what caused the crash, but if it was text messaging....Who can really pass judgement on this man? Those of us who text message have ALL sent a text while driving and ALL could equally be in the same position. I am personally a text addict and I admitt it. Hearing the news that this may have caused the accident personally hits me HARD. I have done EVERYTHING that I can to change my bad habits and realize that MANY times it could have been ME who hurt an innocent person or my own children in the car because I sent a text. Just this morning my friend was joking with me saying that he was texting while he was driving. I said that it wasn't funny and that I personally will not do it anymore. He said ya you are right and agreed to try to stop. This accident has already made 2 people want to change their ways. I think good comes from tragedies and Robert seemed like a VERY GOOD MAN!!! I send my prayers to Robert's family. Just as in any relationship, focus on the good and remember the Awesome man that everyone says he is. Leave the judgement to our Heavenly Father Above. No one is perfect. I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON!!!!

— SH
September 16, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.

We can not judge without knowing what really happen. I trust Robert with my life when I was riding his train.
Robert was a happy person. when I seen him at union station.
He always spoke to me. I really miss him but god needed him.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family you had a very special son and a brother.

— Emma, posted, at 9:45 a.m
September 16, 2008 at 9:46 a.m.


September 16, 2008 at 10:18 a.m.

May God take care of you in heaven and may the king always bless you

— Rudy Lopez
September 16, 2008 at 11:06 a.m.

Let us not judge to quickly as to what really happen on that tragic afternoon. My heart goes out to the Sanchez family during this ordeal.

— Linda
September 16, 2008 at 11:27 a.m.

Dear Sanchez family,

I Just do not understand how they can blame someone, who cannot defend themselves??? He has been driven according to the reports for a long time, i think that they should have not anounced anything until the investigation was over and all the people on the train were out, give the families time to grieve then release information until it is all clear. I do not know if it was my family member that happen to i would think the same but, his family also lost someone special to them, and for whatever reason it was it will not bring anyone including the driver back. I think that the people responsible would the Metro system or railwyas whatever they are called they should be more prepared to avoid tragedies likes this. I just do not get it why were they traveling at the same time and why would they cross paths??? that does not make sence? They should blame the people who thought of this idea of crossing paths it was bound to happend no other signals, they need to put them ahead of time not at the end of the track by then it is to late, well i feel for eveyone that passed on train 111, i am scared of traveling now, i take the metro redline everyday, and like everyone i pray that i come home safe. i am sorry this is a loss for everyone to the communty also.

— Betty/from Los Angeles
September 16, 2008 at 11:40 a.m.

My Brother is a conductor on a different line. He speaks highly of you, Mr. Sanchez. My heart has been breaking since 4:50pm last Friday evening, when my Husband who works two miles from the crash site called me at home to alert me, thinking it was our Brother's train. This accident claimed the life of my Husband's co-worker and friend; we are waiting to hear if others who have not shown up to work were also on the train that day. I'm saddened and sickened to see the rush to judgment publicly displayed in the media. Until it is proven, beyond a reasonable doubt the actual cause of this immense tragedy, I hope the media refrains from publishing "theories" which are not helpful to our community, nor the families of those who, along with you, perished...

I pray for you, your family, and all the VICTIMS of this ACCIDENT.

— Michele from Lancaster
September 16, 2008 at 11:53 a.m.

Media is a circus at times. Let this man RIP!! Like everyone else, do not blame, just pray for all touched by this horrific accident.

— Sharon
September 16, 2008 at 12:05 p.m.

I hope to one day say from the bottom of my heart that I forgive. I just can't right now. I am angry. This was not an accident it was a bound to happen. For each of us that text and talk while driving put so many at risk. Someone somewhere had a responsiblity with that many lives at hand to make sure minds are clear. I pray that Mr. Sanchez's soul is at peace. I also pray that I am able to one day visit his grave site and actually tell him that I forgive him and that I know he would have never allowed himself to get distracted if he knew it was going to cause to many people to die. I also hope that one day I am able to visit the gravesite of my family member and that I am able to be there and remember all the good times we had. To the Sanchez family. You are not to blame, I understand that. But please give me time to "get over it" right now its just too soon. One day I pray that I will honestly be able to send word to you that I do forgive. May God and faith get you though the next few weeks and that you find time to heal. I don not blame you, I am still angry.

— Kat
September 16, 2008 at 12:12 p.m.

God's peace and love be with Rob's family and friends -- I agree with a previous posting -- God must have needed all of those whose lives departed this earth on Friday. Before moving back to the east coast, I rode that train countless times for years from work to home in Burbank. We all knew each of the Metrolink Engineers who carried us safely to and from work and home each day. Rob was a professional, and extremely safety conscious, which is why I know this had to be a need that God had for each of the souls that were taken from both Train 111 and the freight train engine; there can be no other explanation. You will all be missed -- see you on the other side!

— Kim Wilds
September 16, 2008 at 12:24 p.m.

God bless all who were hurt by this senseless tragedy. Including those of us who may not have known anyone personally or as a family member. We all hurt from this utter lack of safety...a shared mostly on the shoulders of MetroLink and its partners who failed to install the BEST, state of the art security and stop gap safety measures.

Ms. Tyrell can sleep tonight. I wonder how many MetroLink executives can?

— sandy
September 16, 2008 at 1:23 p.m.

My condolences to Mr. Sanchez's family. We must remember, that he too was killed, and I believe that this tragic accident was just that... a horrible accident. His family not only has to deal with the loss of a loved one, but the loss of a loved one in such a horrendous way, and to add insult to the wound...they carry the burden of a nation consumed by placing blame. I have a friend who died on the train, and through the saddness and grief, I know Mr. Sanchez didn't mean for this to happen. He seemed to love his job and had a sence of pride for what he did... he too would have been devistated had he lived. He's paid his debt, let's not continue to lynch him...let him rest in peace.

September 16, 2008 at 1:54 p.m.


September 16, 2008 at 2:59 p.m.

My heart goes to the family, friends and others who knew Mr. Sanchez. Remember that everyone lived a GREAT life before there death. Please lets all hold each other instead of pointing fingers, I myself lost a brother in arms on 9/11, he was not supposed to go but again he is with these people all in heaven waiting for all us one day to smile all together.

Mr. Sanchez, look down to your family and tell them you are ok in heaven, no apology needed, just know that you and others will always be remembered and never forgotten.

My heart and prayers are with all the families.


A Person

— A Person
September 16, 2008 at 3:42 p.m.

I am sure that if he knew what was going to happen he would gladly give his life to save the other victims. I was on the 118 going to my Aunt's house in Simi Valley late that night, right before midnight, and saw all these helicopters hovering, and all the exits were blocked off, and I had no idea what was going on..when I got there they had the news on, and I could not believe my eyes. Im POSITIVE, even not knowing this man, that he would never do this on purpose..and yes he made a mistake, but like some of the comments before mine, we are all victims of being pulled away from what we should be doing on the road, rail, air, etc... and I think we should all learn a strong lesson from this and STOP using our phones in the car, especially to text message. We all at one time had no ability to communicate with people on our commute home or to work etc, before cell phones.. I think we can all survive the ride home without it. Or should I say WILL survive the ride home without it. Let's learn from this, and not judge. God be with ALL the families.

— Mary
September 16, 2008 at 4 p.m.

When we forsake compassion, we forsake our humanity.

May Mr. Sanchez rest in peace, and may his family and friends find light in the darkness of their grief.

— SC
September 16, 2008 at 4:17 p.m.

To the readers of the LA Times: You are all a class act. To have nothing to say but positive messages is what is needed during a traumatic event such as this. As one the postings stated, to Err is human but to forgive is divine.

— Me
September 16, 2008 at 4:25 p.m.

Whether you are an airline pilot, bus driver, cab driver, Metrolink engineer. You have an affirmative responsibility to give your full time and attention to your job with over 200 lives in your hands. I'm sorry folks, I understand all of the nice sentiment in these memorials, but 25 people lost their lives because Robert Sanchez was text messaging a 14 year old kid who liked trains and in doing so blew a red light. That is outrageous. So much loss, death and sorrow because of one man. I am angry that I lost my brother because of this man and his lack of attention. Metrolink will be sued for all of their money for not hiring better engineers!!!

— Mike
September 16, 2008 at 4:34 p.m.

it is not for US to forgive, but for the victims and their families. My heart goes out to all of them, to Mr Sanches' family also.
If texting is determined to be the cause, it is not a "mistake" it is carelessness that took the life of 24 innocent people. Laws have to be put in place so this can never happen again!

— cindy
September 16, 2008 at 4:39 p.m.

Our condolences to the Sanchez family. Whatever the cause of the accident, Robert was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though we grieve for all the lives that were lost, Robert's was one so precious that people who have connected with him would celebrate. The teenagers you mentored and cultivated love for trains were in no way bitter to have known you Robert. They loved you and cried for your passing. May you rest in peace.

— Lino, Nancy and Lindsay Mae
September 16, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

Grace is what we all need in times like these. My prayers are with the deceased, their families and the survivors of this accident.

— Karen
September 16, 2008 at 6:11 p.m.

Robert made a huge mistake and he paid for it, unfortunately he took many innocent lives with him. For most people it is easy to say 'Do not judge' but for someone who was affected by this senseless 'mistake', not as easy. Sure at first I felt so angry, but anger will not bring my friend back to his loved ones. If it is true what they say ! Robert will not be able to rest in peace.

— Forgiving is not easy!!
September 16, 2008 at 6:11 p.m.

rest in peace robert sanchez

— frank and santee
September 16, 2008 at 7:11 p.m.

To Mr. Sanchez and family:

May our deepest sympathies connect with you. May you live on peacefully without harm in our hearts.

May we withold any judgement before, during, and after- until the final statement has been made. Even then we shall tread carefully by what we say, in respect to the Mr. Sanchez and the Sanchez family.

September 16, 2008 at 7:53 p.m.

It's easy to blame somebody who is not here to defend themselves. Only God and Mr. Sanchez know what really happened. I know this is no comfort to those that have lost a parent, sibling, child, family member, or friend. Even if Mr. Sanchez is guilty of doing something we ALL do, there is no amount of penance, or blame that will change what happened. Please let us pray for those who have been lost, those still in hospitals needing around the clock care, and those who helped rescue the parished and injured. May there be peace in all those lives that have been affected by this horrible tragedy, and may we find a way to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again! My heart goes out to ALL affected by this horrible tragedy. Please if you can, donate blood as it is truly needed at this time.
May your God be with you.....Rest in Peace.

— Amy S. From Moorpark
September 16, 2008 at 8:13 p.m.

To the Sanchez Family,
God be with you and bless you. You have my thoughts and prayers for your loss.

— Sandra
September 16, 2008 at 8:19 p.m.

Hey Rob,
I had the pleasure of meeting you on the Coast Starlight about 9 years ago out of SLO. You taught me so much about trains, and just life in general. You were one of the coolest guys that I had ever met. We seemed to hit it off right away. What happened this past Friday was truly a tragic accident. I am blessed you have known you and have been able to share my accomplishments with my friends that included you. Thanks for everything. May you rest in piece, my friend and I look forward to seeing you soon.

— Nick- IE
September 16, 2008 at 8:26 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. What happened on that dreadful day is a terriable tradegy. I was very upset and angry with the metro spokesperson for speaking out, way too soon to the media giving her "opinion" of what might have caused the accident and who was to blame. I am glad she resigned and no longer is with the Metrolink train Co, this kind of rush to judgement stirs lots of confusion among the public.

— Naomi Lopez
September 16, 2008 at 8:57 p.m.

To the Sanchez family:

There is no need for you to continue reading these postings! Surround yourselves with the people who can recall all the good days you and Robert had. Many people are sympathetic and want to express themselves here! Know that most of us feel so sad for your loss! But every so often, a hurt soul will use these postings as a way to let their feelings air out! Don't be troubled by them. They are simply hurting, like all who knew Robert. I can't blame them either. But if you personally knew Robert, or are a family member, the rest of the messages after this one will be similar to all the ones you've already read. Go hug someone you love, and let the internet be the internet. What's real is what you can touch and feel!

--- Orlando, FL

— Jim
September 16, 2008 at 9:39 p.m.

I am just heartbroken over the loss that Mr. Sanchez' family is enduring. I am so sorry. May God give you strength for each day.

— Anonymous
September 17, 2008 at 12:27 a.m.

It is eye-opening to read about a random group of strangers who died, the likes of whom you probably meet everyday without knowing their dreams and aspirations, the weaknesses that make them human, the people in their lives. I just hope that it doesn't confirm the notion that each of us is most appreciated when we're dead. Look out for each other and embrace the present.

— Bill
September 17, 2008 at 12:49 a.m.

It must be the most difficult of all things to do to honour the life of a person who was driving the train in which your relative was injured or killed. That is true compassion.
Our thoughts are with you all.
We in Sydney, Australia have endured similar experiences.

— Don and Caroline Bowen
September 17, 2008 at 1:41 a.m.

My prayers are with the Sanchez family and everyone affected. May you find peace in your hearts and may the memories of your loved ones keep them close to you forever.

— Hugo Paiz, Miami, FL
September 17, 2008 at 6:40 a.m.

There should never be a system where so many lives depend on each individual being perfect. That is a system where we would all eventually fail. None of us is perfect. My condolences to Mr. Sanchez's family. Indeed this was a tragedy for all involved.

— anonymous
September 17, 2008 at 7:13 a.m.

im not sure my comment went thru earlier so all try again! What im about to write is purely my opinion i dont wish to anger or upset anyone but here it goes! 1st off This is a page for people to remember Robert Sanchez and to mourn the loss of his life! It is not a page to come on here and bash him! 2nd The comments made about him texting is simply speculation. It is not confirmed. 3rd I seen a post above saying that they are going to sue metrolink for all there money. Well I think that if I just lost someone I would be grieving the loss not worried about taking all of metrolinks money! 4th I think that the condition of the mans yard has nothing to do with the accident its self. I also believe that the neighbors seen a chance to get on tv and they took it! I dont talk to my neighbors dose that make me a loner>? I have several friends at work though! Robert had several friends at work I seen that first hand! I do believe though that Metrolink needs to Install positive train control so that this dose not happen again! Speaking of Metrolink and its employees! Metrolink has been around for 15 years and this is the first real big accident due to a metrolink engineer! 1 out of 15 years and now people believe that Metrolink needs better engineers???? I to lost a friend in the crash! But I to understand that this is a page dedicated to Robert Sanchez and the memories people would like to share about him! I do hope that Robert RIP! And I truly am sorry to all the people who lost a loved one in this crash! Once again I do not wish to anger anyone with this post!

— Shawn
September 17, 2008 at 7:59 a.m.


— lorena
September 17, 2008 at 8:45 a.m.

I apprectate Shawn comments. This page is to remember Robert Sanchez. All this negative statements about Robert. It is not call for. He lost his life like many others. Every one is listen to what the news people is saying. How much truth is their. We really dont know what happen we have to wait until the reports come back. Robert wouldnt have hurt alot of people plus killed some Robert love people and he wouldnt have done this. Something must have happen to him. Plus we really dont know about the texting people is speculation about it. Why bring his personal life in this. It does not have anything to do with this accident. Please leave his life along Robert I love you friend. Robert rest in peace.

— Emma Posted at 11:30a.m
September 17, 2008 at 11:43 a.m.

It is very hard for someone who lost their loved one to forgive you. Your huge mistake brought huge broken heart,suffering,sadness to the family who lost their loved one.You knew there are 200 people's lives on your hand. You should focus on your driving. You should not run the red light and texting message. Sorry, I have to blame on you. We lost some loved person.You can void this tragedy.I think the state government needs to enfore a law to ban cell phone,texting message during their driving on bus,train,airplane.Metrolink should hired more experiences engineer and check their driving background before hiring. God bless to all 25 victims. I hope they find their happiness and fearless in the heaven. Rest in peace.

— Anonymous
September 17, 2008 at 2:48 p.m.

CONCDERNED: As a Union pacific conductor, This terrible accident would have NEVER HAPPENED, if their was "MORE PEOPLE IN THE FRONT CAB" , metrolink always has 1 person in the front cab as we have 2-3 sets of eyes, even with a "decent(incidents hidden from the media)" 15 year track record from metrolink, Your risking your life with these conditions and "PTC," because it only stops the train after a few miles which is too much time, and only stops that train, not the one coming head on with you full speed! So we need more people watching out for one another thats a fact, it is metrolinks fault anyway you slice it actually, but "obvioulsy" not directly, but my prayers go out to the ones who lost their lives, god bless!

September 17, 2008 at 3:48 p.m.

I knew Robert Sanchez and will always remember his kind smile and gentle nature. He loved his mother and his dogs. I cannot believe he would have killed innocent people on purpose. He was too gentle of a man.
I hope you find peace, my friend
Blessings and Peace to all who lost loved ones in this terrible accident

— chris
September 17, 2008 at 8:37 p.m.

Rest in Peace. We are only Human. God will take you in and give you peace.

— me
September 17, 2008 at 11:25 p.m.

Robert was a kind man who shared of himself in every way possible and should be remembered as such. Always waving from his window, a smile on his face, always kind.

IT WAS A MISTAKE, one most of us do every day, text and drive... admit it or not! If anything, like someone else suggested, let's learn from this and commit to making a serious, conscious and dedicated effort to stop texting while driving!!

The loss of life was grand but the lesson to be learned could also be grand... let's take it.

As a train conductor's wife, I appreciate the extra set of eyes on the freight trains as the UP conductor mentioned.

Metrolink, please work on ensuring something like this never happens again. Step up to the plate and don't put this all on one man's shoulder.

I'm certain Robert would take this back a thousand times over, if he could. May he rest in peace.

God bless Robert's family.

— Wendy
September 18, 2008 at 1:07 a.m.

It was just meant to be. When it's your time, it's your time and there is nothing you can do about it.

September 18, 2008 at 4:23 a.m.

Wow - I bet you all forgive the drunk drivers who kill innocent people on the roads because, hey, accidents happen, right? Those people who leave their children in the car on a hot day. Yep - just mistakes! Let's forgive!

Right is right, wrong is wrong.

You all live on Fantasy Island. I swear.

— Anonymous
September 18, 2008 at 9:22 a.m.

I knew Robert as well... He was a kind, genuine, happy man. The press is full of inuendo and "facts" that have nothing to do with this unfortunate event. Remembering back to the Atlanta Olympics and the bombing that occured. The press and public quickly looked for a scapegoat in a man named Richard Jewell who was soon proven to be innocent, but his name and reputation was destroyed. Let the people who investigate these things do their job and release their findings and facts before any judgement is passed. Robert made a positive impact on my life and I enjoyed his kind spirit and heart. I also hope his dogs are not just sitting in a kennel wondering what happened to their master, but will be well cared for and loved by someone. My heart goes out to all impacted by this tragedy may each soul rest in peace.

— mike
September 18, 2008 at 10:48 a.m.

God Bless you, one and all. To your families, and your extended families, Peace and Blessings. I am praying for you. For PRAYER IS THE MIGHTIEST SOUTCE OF POWER KNOWN TO MAN.

— Gloria
September 18, 2008 at 11:03 a.m.

anonymous, it's really not the same to compare his actions to the examples you cited. It's more similar to trying to shave, eat, text, or put on makeup while driving -- something everyone's done at least once in their lives, even though they knew they shouldn't. He appears to have been careless, but I feel that this is one of those cases where 'there but for the grace of God, go I' is most appropriate.

He seems to have been a good man, cheerful and loving, and he made a terrible, terrible mistake.

Regardless of one's personal antipathy toward him, he had family who loved and lost as well. Robert will be raked over the coals publicly for months to come -- can't we all take this one opportunity to appreciate him for all he was and all the other things he did in (and with) his life, and express compassion for his family and loved ones?

— tina
September 18, 2008 at 11:11 a.m.

so sad people can judge and compare dui with what has happened....I believe it was an accident and my prayers are with Mr. Sanchez fam and with the families .......

— Mayra
September 18, 2008 at 11:57 a.m.

its so sad that many people died because failed to pay atetion to the sing many lost ones and anjured but everyone makes mistakes R.I.P ROBERT SHANCHEZ

— who cares
September 18, 2008 at 12:07 p.m.

Media has been very quick to judge people and provide results, before any investigation is done. All they do is speculate and spread rumors. It is my sincere hope that they stop doing this for the ratings game.

As for the deceased, my prayers and condolences to the family and friend in this tough time.

Peace to all

Just another Californian who is getting tired of a sick & twisted media driven world.

— Media Hater
September 18, 2008 at 12:29 p.m.

My prayers go to Roberts family. It is wrong for the blame being placed on Robert. The media is evil.
Things happen.. death is not scary... They all woke and wondered "what the heck just happened?" and Robert was there, to take them home.

— Kelsey
September 18, 2008 at 3:29 p.m.

I am praying for the family of Mr. Sanchez and all the other victim's families. The job of an engineer is very risky and challenging. My ex-husband is an engineer and I always keep him and his passengers in my daily prayers. Mr. Sanchez was a human being just like the rest of us and we should never judge. God is the only one that should judge, yet he always forgives.

May the Lord rain down showers of comfort upon the friends and families of the victims.

— Antoinette
September 18, 2008 at 4:14 p.m.

I read everyone's comments and I have to say that it is sad to see all of the anger people are expressing to one another even after the fact that so many lives have passed on and so many people are in pain but to lash out to eachother is not the right thing to do. Life is too short and u just never know when it is ur time and we all know that this world has enough of bad things so do something to make this world better. To those that lost a loved one do something to remember them and pass it on leave all the anger behind because it will take over u and that is not what ur loved ones wanted for u. Let god judge and without a fact yes Robert made a horrible deccission that cost so many lives as well as himself but dont post bad comments because it is not his families fault they lost someone too. I mean no harm to anyone but the way i see it the whole world is in pain over this so dont add to anymore pain and suffering then they already feel. Rest In Peace to all the people on 111 and god bless u all. Nothing will ever take away the pain and emptyness to the families that lost someone on September 12th so have respect for everyone. I leave you with this "Here today but could be gone tomorrow"!!! Love ur friends and family now dont wait till tragedy strikes.

— Linda
September 18, 2008 at 7:32 p.m.

Mr Sanchez, God Bless you and your family. I could never imagine you wanted this to happen and it is terrible that you are being perceived the way you are after this accident. Just remember ALL humans make mistakes and that is how we endure and move forward. The only people that you have to answer to will be in heaven with you now and one day and I am sure they will love you and forgive you for any mistakes as you would them. God Bless. God Bless your family.

— S
September 18, 2008 at 7:34 p.m.

I am angry. I hope that one day I can find it within me to forgive Robert Sanchez. He was entrusted with the responsibility of safely transporting people in a complex machine at high speeds; in short these people put their lives in his hands, and he disrespected, and blatantly ignored that trust. He would rather text message than pay attention. This does not fall under the context of 'human error'. Let this be a lesson to us all, to stop text messaging when driving and to place the value of human life above a cell phone.

— Neda
September 18, 2008 at 9:25 p.m.

Let him without sin cast the first stone.

— Alabama girl
September 19, 2008 at 12:49 a.m.

It looks that now the California Transportation Department will have to stop the train's personnel of using cell phonesl We have that already while driving a vehicle

— Tony from Hesperia
September 19, 2008 at 6:59 a.m.

May God be with everyone and my prayers go out to you all.
I believe Rob was with God before the red light, and I hope
that if he was they don't use him for an excuse like they
already have.
engineer/co-engineer ??

— BillyBob
September 19, 2008 at 8:29 a.m.

I understand the anger, when we are angry we always try to find something or someone to blame.
But has anyone wondered what if the engineer had a heartattack at that exact time (instead of text messaging)? The same thing would happen then too, wouldn't it?!

I don't think he is to blame, it is the system that needs to be fixed, there should be more preventive actions in place. More warnings, more signals, more people in charge, maybe the freight engineer and the metrolink engineer should communicate verbally each time to ensure the rail is clear. No one is perfect, some of us are just lucky enough not to have as much responsibility as he did.

RIP Mr. Sanchez

— dessee
September 19, 2008 at 9:02 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 9:52 a.m.

Rest in peace Mr. Sanches and all the victims of this tragedy. May we learn from this and never let it happen again.

— Al Bear
September 19, 2008 at 11:41 a.m.

Of all the reports I've read I've seen nothing alarming. Everything I read, no matter how sinister the media tries to make it appear, points to nothing other than that he was a kind and gentle man who had some really tough times in life. Let this man rest in peace. May God bless all of the victims and their families.

— Beth
September 19, 2008 at 12:01 p.m.

Mr.Sanchez, I never met you. But I am sadden today that you lost your life in this tragedy. I'm angered that on this memorial page people rush to judgement about what happened. NTSB said their would be a possible cause for this accident within 12 months. However, the NEWS media needed to find blame right away. I'm sorry for your family who have to read people who can't find peace. All you victims I believe are in heaven now. They are all in peace. The anger that people say here on your page are selfish. They are thinking about their own feelings. Life is precious yes, but God may decide to take us from this temporary stop at any time. We need to appreciate all the times we spend with each other. Only one man is not to blame. It's possibly the Metrolink system. If (2)two engineers where there, maybe this could have been prevented. Airlines never fly with just (1)one pilot. We need to make sure this tragedy never happens again. But nothing in life is for certain. Let's try and pray for the SOULS of all the crash victims. NO ONE person is to blame. Last I heard, only (1)one perfect human walked the Earth. God Bless you Robert Sanchez, and God Bless your loved ones....

— Steve G
September 19, 2008 at 2:58 p.m.

My deepest condolences to the friends and family of Robert. I did not know him personally, but the pictures of him happily smiling with his dogs make me smile. Rest in peace, Robert.

— Holly
September 19, 2008 at 3:49 p.m.

I will never forget you Rob. You were such a great friend. RIP and we all love you!

— Unknown
September 19, 2008 at 5:03 p.m.

Oh Robert, How I will miss were one of the nicest engineers who ever worked at metrolink. I have been taking the metrolink for over 5 years and had come to know you quite well. I will never forget your sparkling eyes, your great sense of humor and your kind laugh. So many are too quick to blame you...I guess we will never know what you were going through in those last moments but I know even if something bad did happen that nothing evil would ever cross your soul and that no matter what anyone else says you were a kind who may have had a hard past, but a kind soul none the less. Rest in peace dear friend...I'll always miss you. God Bless You Rob!!!! See you on that golden train one day soon!

— A fellow metrolink rider
September 19, 2008 at 5:42 p.m.

i never met you rob, but by the looks of it you were a happy man. i dont understand why some people think about money at a time like this. the money wont bring back your loved one. people judged without even knowing what happened in the cab of your locomotive. may you rest in peace. our prayers are with all the families of the victim of this accident.

— a ryder
September 19, 2008 at 9:22 p.m.


I didn't know you well. Only from dog shows. What I did know and saw exhibited was your love of mankind. You would let folks who were camping on show grounds use your room to shower and you would drive them on various errands. These were folks you hardly knew. You loved your dogs and your family. You were a friend to someone that I highly admire. I mourn your family's loss and the loss of every individual killed and injured on that train. In the end, truth will prevail and no one should cast judgment until then. My heart is with your family and I can't imagine the pain they are feeling both with your loss and the accusations that have been made. I understand that folks need to find fault and a reason, but to do so prematurely is wrong. Rest in Peace Rob and I hope you are at the bridge with some of my Italian greyhounds that have passed away and they provide you company and solace.

— Debbie Wolfenbarger
September 20, 2008 at 10:52 a.m.

my prayers are with his family.

— elaine
September 20, 2008 at 12:48 p.m.

many are the years that have passed and time has grown between us...i remenber as a young girl your kindness then...taking me out to your moms chicken hutch and feeding those crazy birds, you kept them from pecking me to death...the big horse "Boy" who used to rub his butt up against the fence because he wanted you to scatch him...your cow you were raising for a 4-H project...and your pizza place...we lived so far apart from each other and i only have those few memories as a child of the summers coming to visit but non the less they are sweet and so were in peace my in peace...

September 20, 2008 at 4:04 p.m.

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Rob, as I was a Train Dispatcher for Union Pacific for 33+ years. I dispatched the "Coast" territory from SLO to Moorpark. I also did a "road trip" on the Coast Starlight from L.A. to SLO, and rode in the locomotive with Rob, and rode with him the next day from Santa Barbara to L.A. He was always friendly and cheerful, and very helpful on my familiarization trip. I worked with him countless times - mostly on the Amtrak (not Metro) trains. I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, co-workers and friends. This should not be a forum for speculation or blame - as that will not bring the victims back. I do agree with the UP Conductor, who posted that Metro should have 2 people in the locomotive cab for SAFETY reasons. I know there are rules in place on the UP that prohibit personal cell phone use while on duty. Rob - it was good to know you - may you and all the victims rest in peace.

— wyogal
September 21, 2008 at 12:10 a.m.

The media should be ashamed of themselves for airing out dirty laundry of Mr.Sanchez's personal life. SHAME ON YOU (MEDIA)!! But to the victims- May you all finally rest in peace. And my deepest condolences to their families.

— Bernie
September 21, 2008 at 2:07 a.m.

To the Sanchez Family and to all those people that lost a family member and loved one my condolences and prayers are with you.

And I have a comment and questions that maybe someone from metrolink or that knows about trains can answer:

It is easy to blame a person that is not longer here to defend himself. But there is one thing that angers me is that the media and metrolink executives blame this person without completing a thorough investigation, and I have these questions, why there is only one engineer in the front cars instead of two? What would happen if this engineer gets sick or gets a heart attack while conducting a train? Is this beacuse of budget cuts that they cannot have two people on the same car to have a second set of eyes? What happened to the employees that are in the main control watching the board that they did not see that there were two trains in the same track? What happened to the best technology that these train supposed to have to prevent these kind of accidents? Why metrolink executives do not speak about the above questions? Is it a cover up? I am sure that I am not the only one asking these questions but I woulk like to know why.

— Unknown
September 21, 2008 at 4:18 a.m.

To the family of Mr Sanchez and to all that lost a love one, my prayers are with you and may God be with you all.

I know that it is easy to blame someone especially when there is an accident or when we have lost a love one, but lets not blame anyone because we will never really know what truly happened. The reports can say anything but we really do not know if that is how it really happened, only God knows that.

We should not take life for granted as God gave us Eternal life, all we need to do is obey and believe the words of God. We all need to learn that blaming someone is not the solution. God will help us through all obstacle and He will take care of all the people that die on that day.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. ----John 3:16

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. ----Leviticus 19:18

— Mr Po
September 21, 2008 at 8:19 a.m.

i have to agree with the comment above...

— candice
September 21, 2008 at 10:52 a.m.

rest in peace robert
god bless you and your family

— grissel
September 21, 2008 at 1:36 p.m.

Less texting, more paying attention.

— Patrick
September 21, 2008 at 3:05 p.m.

When disasters strike, many people blame God of being the one responsible for the suffering, as though God plans these horrible things that cause so much pain. But, God is a loving God who does not rejoice in these atrocities. In fact, according to his own word,.."God is love"..and therefore, as James 1:13 say's "..For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone". Human error, being at the wrong place at the wrong time,...all contribute to mankind's suffering. GOD IS NOT TO BLAME.

— Veronica
September 21, 2008 at 8:10 p.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

September 21, 2008 at 8:50 p.m.

people are hard headed and cant seem to read! its still speculation it has not been proven yet! open your two eyes!

— shawn
September 22, 2008 at 4:49 a.m.

I never knew Robert...however, I was watching as everything unfolded before our eyes on the TV. I pray for ALL the families/friends that lost a loved one on that day. Many people have written about FORGIVENESS and that is the only way. We all go by DIVINE APPOINTMENT! Although this has been a very hard thing for me to understand I believe it is true. When GOD needs you, you will be called. All the speculation about what could have or should have is meaningless because GOD is in control. Robert sounds like he was a GREAT man and would never intentionally hurt anyone. Please do not believe everything you hear from the media they are always mixing things up.
As previously stated by others... no one knows what happened on that train only GOD and we may never know.

TO THE NEGATIVE WRITTERS: Seek comfort in GOD and pray that you never make a mistake (as you put it).


— ANM from San Bernardino
September 22, 2008 at 10:51 p.m.

May his memory be eternal.

— Anonymous
September 23, 2008 at 6:16 a.m.

Christians please stop exploiting this tragedy to further your cause. Leave these people in peace, this man made a mistake but there is a lesson to be learned. When you are responsible for the lives of many people you must take your job seriously and not give way to distractions.

Just because people died does not give you the right to promote your Jesus message and to try to convert people.

— Joe
September 23, 2008 at 10:20 p.m.

Hey Rob,

I wanted to stop by and say hello. I had the pleasure of meeting you on the Coast Starlight about 9 years ago out of SLO. You taught me so much about trains, and just life in general. You were one of the coolest guys that I had ever met. We seemed to hit it off right away. What happened this past Friday was truly a tragic accident. I am blessed you have known you and have been able to share my accomplishments with my friends that included you. Thanks for everything. May you rest in piece, my friend and I look forward to seeing you soon.

— Nick- IE (909)
September 24, 2008 at 1:26 a.m.

RIP. Robert. It upsets me that everyone is putting the blame on you. I believe you were a good man. People do make mistakes...Deep down inside I think something medical happen to you. The truth will come out even if it hurts. You and everyone on that train is in my prayers.

— Renee
September 24, 2008 at 4:19 a.m.

Rob, rest in peace brother. As an employee of the transportation industry for 31 years I will impart to all those who cast blame on Robert , Robert was not the only one that should have been watching what was going on. The people who watch the "big board" (just like air traffic controllers) SHOULD have caught the error and notified both trains. Evidently someone else wasnt doing their job. In this industry there is ALWAYS more than one person watching, whether it is air traffic or trains, And that person has a supervisor who is supposedly watching the big picture. I'm sure there is at least two people out there right now who have to LIVE with what happened because they werent paying attention. ROB, all the victims, and families of this tragedy, you are in my prayers. Rest in Peace.

— Jerry
September 24, 2008 at 11:51 a.m.

I was probably on your train at one point. God bless your family as they deal with this difficult time and shame on the people who are so quick to judge and "hold others responsible", without any human compassion whatsoever. Accidents happen, fate happens, as sad and confusing as it is for the ones left behind, these beautiful women and men who lost their lives was simply due to FATE. Their challenges and trials are now over. God Bless everyone left behind, it's no doubt a horrible time.

— Shannon
September 24, 2008 at 5:12 p.m.

I've read all the comments here and I have to say this: overall I have sympathy for Robert though I never knew him. I'm sure many of you did. I sometimes
wonder what he was thinking if he had time to react when he realized he missed the light, you can't honestly say you can't tell a freight train is coming
right toward you? Unless there was something very wrong with him physically I'd say he knew, I keep wondering in that final moment what he realized? And
it anoys me that channel 9 brought out the fact he was texting on that day? What if no one had ever said that and let the NTSB say it on its own? Some might
not be so quick to judge. Let the NTSB do its job, please. I keep wondering what that final moment was like, hope God was merciful to him. I feel for him,
usually if mistakes are made they are just that, mistakes. I'm sure he had flaws just like all of us. Shame on the media for bringing out his troubles and splashing them all over the headlines, how would you feel if someone did that to you and you couldn't defend yourself? Did you do that to everyone else? I suspect not. To friends and family of Robert and all others who perished in this freek event, my tears mix with yours. May comfort surround all of us. And pet the dogs for me. :): I'm a cat person but animals are the best comforters and friends, sometimes. Rest in peace Robert and everyone. Queen of Bells

— Shelley Queen of Bells
September 24, 2008 at 9:24 p.m.

I hate to watch,listen,hear,or have any knowage of you or any news cast anymore. When i think about all this was cause by driver error... i think to myself trains are huge also 18 wheelers are huge city buses are huge and im a city commutter and all those huge vehicles cut me and others off everyday, drive way to damn fast,run red lights and some of them just some of them think their gods of the road -can do whatever they damn want cause of their size and power. judge me ... judge robert.. my thoughts don't murder people. i pray to my dad now ...

— chi chao
September 27, 2008 at 6:12 a.m.

My prayers and condolences to each member of your family and your friends you left behind at metro

September 27, 2008 at 7:43 p.m.

Dear Robert, I am so sorry that the media has painted such an unfair picture of you. And I am so sorry that people have made snap judgments and not been willing to give you the benefit of the doubt while information is gathered and facts are sorted out. I truly believe that something terrible happened that was beyond your control and left you unable to stop the train as you have done so many times before. I can't help but wonder why, after you had both confirmed the first warning light, the conductor didn't take action by the lack of communication after that. Something was obviously very wrong.

I hope that your dogs are taken care of and am sure that they will be. I know that they will miss you but you will be united some day so find peace in that.

Please free yourself and find the peace and love that you deserve. Know that what happened wasn't your fault. I know that you cared about your passengers. Those that passed with you know the truth of that day; that you were a special person and an exceptional, dedicated engineer who cared about his passengers.

May God be with and comfort everyone that was touched by this tragedy. And may he give special comfort to the Sanchez family. Robert was a very special person.

— An Unknow Friend
September 28, 2008 at 11:42 a.m.

I agree with the last post from an unknown friend. If I may be allowed to share, I have written two tributes to Robert at a web site called if you click on and look for my name Shelley J. Alongi on the author's page you can click on "Memorial to a Train Engineer" and "The Freight Train from Nowhere" which explains my sympathy for him and the understanding that we all go through so many stages of grief and loss. The only common ground I share with Robert may be that we may have shared the same track or that we both like animals (I'm a cat persom). These tributes are meant to help bring healing. I don't know your policy on this but please feel free to click on this site and read my work. It is free, this is a public web site with all kinds of writing on it. Please feel free to read my tributes or anything else you may want to read by me. My heart aches for this family and for the others, I hope I may be permitted to help in the healing at some time. Very respectfully and sincerely, shelly, Pearl and Brandy (the cats)

— Shelley Queen of Bells
September 28, 2008 at 2:34 p.m.

Spirits soar,
Body broken,
Hopes unstemmed,
Fears unspoken.

Starry eyes,
We remember;
We lost all of this,
On 12 of September.

Always speaking,
Of dogs and of trains,
Never of lost love,
So much unknown strain.

Light, sparkling laughter,
Ripping away defences,
Freedom at last,
From stifling fences.

Spirits soar,
Body broken,
Plans unstemmed,
Dreams unspoken.

Retreating behind,
Solid brick fences,
Long hard hours,
Harden defenses.

Starry eyes,
We remember,
We lost all this
on 12 of September.

Leave us with questions,
Rivers of tears,
Lives to pick up,
And hope to sustain.

Riding the rails,
Priming the switches,
Cool steady hands on controls,
But only show glimpses,

Hide in the cab,
Silver bars of pain.
Rivers of tears,
And hope to sustain.

Starry eyes,
We remember,
We lost all this
On 12 of September.

Spirits soar
Body broken,
Fears unstemmed,
Hope always spoken.

Get up in the morning,
Grab your keys,
Say goodbye to the dogs,
The train calls;

But always love lost;
Love unspoken;
Tears behind smiles,
Genuine smiles,
Cheerful smiles,
Sincere, genuine smiles,

Behind the screen door,
And up the stairs,
Memories beckon,
Pictures speak thousands of words.

Holding puppies,
Breathing in strength,
Learning, loving, losing,
Behind the railroad gate;
Lots of unspoken freight.

Spirit soars,
Boddies broken,
Tears unshed,
Happiness unspoken.

Arguments lost,
Make some mistakes,
Make friends,
Love, escape.

Sweet open space,
Clacking railroad tracks,
Away from the anguish,
No looking back.

Around the curve,
On a sun-splashed track,
No looking forward,
No looking back.

they crash in a minute,
A splinter of sound,
A cleansing fire,
A sadness profound.

A sadness too far beyond tears.

Spirits soar,
Bodies broken,
Tears, plans, dreams unstemmed,
Fears, love, humanness unspoken.

Always speaking
Of dogs and of trains,
But never love lost,
And never love gained,
And never love unloved,
Afraid of love lost,
Afraid of love gained,
Always hiding behind dogs and trains.
But always hope.

Kindness, goodness,
patience, anger,
Smile and wave,
say hello to me, a stranger.

Together in a minute,
A firery crash,
A cleansing fire,
Love lost, love gained.

Riding the rails,
Priming the switches,
Cool steady hands on controls,
But only show glimpses,

Hide in the cab,
Silver bars of pain.
Rivers of tears,
And hope to sustain.

Your starry eyes,
We remember,
We lost all of this
On 12 of september.

Rest in peace.

— Shelley, Queen of Bells
September 29, 2008 at 10:22 p.m.

My fondest memory, you were 10, late for class. What could the teacher say when you walk in ???? You had baked a cake for all your classmates. Now tell me,is this someone with a big heart even at a young age ? As a little boy you wore your conductors cap proudly. Did you love your job ? I think so . To all who are so ready to judge , stop and think , does this sound like a man who would do harm to anyone ? What ever the reason was, we all have much to learn from it. Rest in peace Robert. I know your father and brother welcomed you with open arms. Prayers to all .

September 30, 2008 at 4:30 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 10:10 a.m.

Sitting on hold at work writing this. Thanks for such a great memory I really relate to the baking the cake part. Sounds like I would have really liked to know him. My heart aches for this family and wishes them all the best. Find peace. Keep dreaming.

— Shelley Queen of Bells
October 1, 2008 at 12:54 p.m.

Careless needless someone said WHY?
Because the man had fun on his mind shame on him
he took care of his dog better than the care of his
train mates. I'm angry and what a waste of such beautiful
trusting soul. Mr. Sanchez did in fact cause this accident which could have been avoided.Wake up world and watch your neighbors if and when they are doing wrong please.

— together we pray for all
October 1, 2008 at 8:36 p.m.

Sometimes a mistake is a mistake. But we don't know that the text messaging led to the crash. I say give him the benefit of the doubt till all the evidence is in. If it's found he was responsible by those who have all the evidence, it will be a sad lesson and if he was as kind as everyone says we must believe had he lived he would be devistated despite breaking the rules. How does one who knew the overwhelming power of trains let their guard down at crucial moments? Were there other instances where texting happened and he got away with it? This has all been very devistating to me as well, though I never lost anyone. Robert your friends must hold on to the hope that you were not entirely responsible and if it does come out that you were then we must all face hard truth and remember the professionalism and fun. If there are other factors he will be forgiven in an instant. Such loss and devistation felt by all of us. My prayers are with you Sanchez family, I should have met him though it was not to be. Step back, hold back judgment and lets just wait. It may be the hardest year ever. Hope sustains. Peace comforts. Every time I hear a train whistle it's like a fresh stab of pain, such a comforting and upsetting sound. All our love is with you Sanchez family.

— Shelley Queen of Bells
October 2, 2008 at 10:18 p.m.

How easy it is to blame the dead. So sad. Another cover up. Just what this world needs. RIP Robert. We know it wasn't your fault.

— Deacon
October 3, 2008 at 8:04 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 2:16 p.m.

I have plans to set up a small memorial to Robert at the Fullerton train station which is about eight miles from me and where I've caught Metrolink and Amtrack trains off and on for fifteen years. I don't know any of the rail fans who knew him but I have to do something. It will be very simple I have to put it together. I feel like I should pay my respects to him and the Fullerton station for me is the closest place and a way to connect with the trains he loved. He was probably there it's a pretty historic train spot. I haven't had a chance to go there and just reflect I've been working fifty to sixty hour weeks but I don't want to go till I have the items in hand. I'll take the poem I wrote there that is posted here and some other things. If you want to help me plan it email me at if not this will be my own private thing.

Have a lovely Sunday and beyond,

Shelly, pearl and Brandy The Kitties Who Are Off Roaming the Place somewhere :):

— Shelley Queen of Bells
October 4, 2008 at 11:40 p.m.

its the 7th of oct 2008... my dad is underground ... my pain and sorrow still fresh. my heart is broken ...
i'm not that nice of a guy... all american kid... with the same rights all everyone eye for an eye ... but 24 is the death count ... not 25 !!!

— me
October 7, 2008 at 4:38 a.m.

Death toll 25 not 24 I knew someone on the train. Robert had a green light to go someone is covering it up the truth one day will come out. this man would not hurt anyone. it is easy to drag a person name in the mud he is not here to protect his name.

— Emma
October 7, 2008 at 1:25 p.m.

Please lets not argue there's too much agony already lets give Robert a break here. Does anyone else have memories of him? I'd like to learn more about him.

— Shelley Queen of Bells
October 7, 2008 at 8:51 p.m.

Robert it's been over a month since you parting from this life..and u know I still have that memory of you and when I think of you all I remember is that smile and happiness in your eyes. My friend no matter what anyone says and how so many just point the finger at you, I know deep in my heart you would of never wanted harm upon anyone. While you were alive you brought happiness and smile to so many and for that I will always remember you. You will always be in my heart and thoughts...May you Rest in peace my friend.

— Martha
October 17, 2008 at 12:03 a.m.

This was not a mistake. He was trained and experienced. He disregarded his duties and caused the death of 24 other people. Shame on him.

— Anonymous
December 25, 2008 at 3:48 p.m.

I find it very unlikely that Robert Sanchez caused the accident.

The rails between Union Station and Moorpark have one part of the route where the two sets of track converge into one. That is the location of the accident. How is it possible that an experienced engineer could miss multiple red lights at the one point of the route where it vital to not do so. How is it possible that a person who knew the route and knew the risk of missing a red light at that point could do so? I suggest that it is very unlikely.

Text messaging while driving is dangerous, but was until recently legal for CA drivers. There were not people driving through red lights left and right causing accidents all the time. A text message only takes a glance. The Robert Sanchez that people describe on this page does not sound like a careless person. On top of that, why would he, all of a sudden, forget what part of the track he was at after all the years he had taken this route?

Consider a two-lane highway under construction with a portion of only one lane to drive on. Drivers on both sides need to wait for a green light or else risk driving head on with another vehicle. What kind of driver in their right mind would take such a risk. Text messaging would not distract someone into forgetting the risk of oncoming traffic.

An LA Times article from Oct. 4th stated that there were 3 knowledgable witnesses at the Chatsworth station when Mr. Sanchez left who said the light was green for him to go through the one track section. Why did this get less attention than Mr. Sanchez's text messages?

Is it possible that Sanchez went through a red light knowingly? I doubt this especially after reading the testimonials left by people who knew him. Also, it seems that he expected to arrive in Moorpark that evening since he had made a phone call to a restaurant in Moorpark ordering a sandwich to be ready for him when he arrived.

Also, how did the other train operator in the back of the train miss the "red" signal? Was he text messaging too? Is it possible that two trained professionals could miss multiple red lights at the worst point possible? I find that incredible to believe. Why is his name not being dragged through the mud?

I will allow that it is possible that Robert Sanchez caused the accident, but I find it extremely hard to believe.

If Mr. Sanchez did not cause this, one must ask whether or not it is safe to ride the Ventura County line, especially between Chatsworth and Simi.

— Charlie
January 9, 2009 at 10:24 p.m.

My sympathy goes out to the injured, Maybe Rob was contracted out, but management should be held responsible for not ensuring or caring about the safety of the passengers that put their lives in the hands of the public transportation, by not having a 2nd engineer in the cab with Rob. Although I really feel that the train management is to share in the blame for the unnecessary tragedy that occurred, Rob should have been doing the job he was trained for, May God have mercy on your soul Rob; I guess God did, because you are not having to live with the guilt, the responsibility, or to see the families of the victims you killed, or to endure the trial that would have ensued if you had survived the catastrophe you allowed to happen due to your lack of concern for the people who trusted your engineering skills (or lack there of) It is as bad as choosing to drive drunk, if you are not going to doing the job you were trusted and trained for.

— Gary and Debi
January 10, 2009 at 3:59 a.m.

After reading the Oct 4 article in the Times that stated that 3 witnesses saw green lights when the train left the station leads one to believe that Robert could possibly not be the one at fault for this accident but it sure makes him a great scapegoat since he's not here to defend himself. Of course the train ownership is not going to come forward and admit that the lights werent switched by the controller at the big board. That would make them more liable for the accident then the engineer who supposedly was texting . This man was found guilty in the court of journalism not a court of law but no one cares to wait for the final NTSB report, they have judged this man guilty from day one. But that is typical of people today, they are eager to assign blame to the first person that the reporters can dig up even the most minute piece of dirt on. For those that cast rocks I hope they come back like boomerangs.

February 18, 2009 at 11:42 a.m.

I agree with Jerry, questions I had since day one concerning that stretch of track and Rob's familiarization with it. If he operated Amtrak trains he would know that stretch of track very well. If he was distracted by texting we all get distracted by something and do things never meant to be done, but it's hard to believe someone who took that stretch of track would deliberately not be paying attention especially if there was a yellow light before the station. I've learned a lot about trains and have become a regular fixture at our local train station, Fullerton, since the accident, Rob touched my life in his death. I have his picture on my home office wall. All those who perished with him, rest in peace, our hearts go out to all of you. Everytime I see a train at the station I think of Rob, it is my personal tribute to him. Love, Shelley, pearl and Brandy (the cats) :):

— Shelley
February 28, 2009 at 6:59 a.m.

The media doesn't want to touch this with a ten-foot pole, so I'm going to make a few points:

I just read Sanchez' bio. Whoa!!! How was this guy able to land a job as important as this?

The man was gay - not that I care about his sexual orientation, but hello, that's why he was going to allow the two teenage boys who were texting him on the train!

It's pretty obvious isn't it? They probably sent racy photos too to his phone - maybe Metrolink are not telling us the full story because the s*** would hit the fan? He most likely met these two teen boys on the Internet, maybe Myspace or Facebook or Craig's list. He was a loner, his lover hung himself a few years ago after finding out he (the lover) was HIV positive. He has a dirty criminal record.

The media shy away from telling it like it is when dealing with minorites, gays or disabled people - they are terrified of being sued I guess.

I have gay friends and minority friends by the way, but it makes me angry as h*** that no one is pointing all this out!

There are millons of umployed people and these days employers will do a background check on someone applying for low-skill lame jobs, so again, how the h*** could Sanchez get this job!

I'm livid. Even if the light was green, he was obviously distracted texting, being horny for teen boys. And yes, I'd be just as mad if he had been straight and texting teenage girls - doesn't matter. What matters is that he did it and that the media is not mentioning this. Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh - are they the only ones who don't hold back? They're idiots, but at least they say the stuff everyone is afraid to say.

What a totally avoidable senseless tragedy. I read all the bios, looked at the photos of all the dead people.

— GriefGirl
March 3, 2009 at 1:31 p.m.

My initial reaction is to shake GriefGirl for being so racist and homophobic. Yet, she will fight her own demons for bearing such blind hatred. But, sadly, I have to also place blame for the accident with Robert. Who in their right mind can absolve him of any responsibility -- regardless of how nice he was. Nice doesn't bring everyone back or avoid being inattentive at work with such a huge responsibility. Robert wasn't a saint nor was he a devil. Obviously, he was unfit to drive the train that day -- for whatever reason. However, this accident should have never been allowed to happen, and if Robert is used as a scapegoat by Metrolink, this will undoubtedly happen again. As a society, we can't simply draw a line of responsibility to the easiest target or we shortchange ourselves and our safety. Robert paid for his mistake with his life and with the lives of many innocent others who depended on him to be alert and avoid this terrible accident. The fact that he was texting boys just makes the story more lurid -- the mere fact he was texting at all is more important. Secondly, the fact he was risking the lives of others by allowing teenage boys to operate the train is rather incredulous -- both on his part and on the part of Metrolink. But, to me, the most obvious failure is that something so commonplace as running a red light would lead to a huge wreck resulting in so many deaths? Come on, where's the backup systems for inattentive drivers or for those human errors that are just bound to occur? Isn't there a camera in the driver's booth that would show someone at the command center what's going on -- that being any persons who should not be allowed in the driver's car? And, especially, isn't there a warning bell or anything for running a red light? What gives? Being gay or Mexican had nothing to do with this accident. Being inattentive or texting or using your cellphone does. None of us would want to be on a plane where the pilot is texting while landing or taking off, right?

— Jim in Palm Springs
March 3, 2009 at 8:19 p.m.

My personal memories of robert. He killed 24 people with his carelessess.

Right now he is surrounded by 24 people forever asking him why ?

To those defending this monster I ask, why ?

— anonymous
March 4, 2009 at 3:12 a.m.

Tragic that this had to happen. But this guy cost his own life and 24 other lives because of his carelessness. Texting teenage boys while operating a commuter train? Missing a red light as a result? Come on! I hope the NTSB does a thorough review of every conductor.

— anonymous
March 5, 2009 at 1:02 p.m.

Everyone here who posts blaming Robert for the accident entirely lambasts him as if they've never done anything wrong themselves. And when does texting on the job make one a monster? Running a red light that apparently wasn't called out from the evidence presented at the NTSB hearing on march 3 and 4 does not make one a monster, guys. Honestly! And who in their right mind takes rush Linbaugh seriously anyway? I haven't taken him seriously for fifteen years and I don't consider myself a flaming liberal by any means. Thorough review of the physical and signal evidence may point to Rob's failure to pay attention on a stretch of track that he had travelled so many times before and so many trains had also travelled that day, but it doesn't make him a monster. More thorough safety measures may have helped to alleviate a disaster initiated by a distracted engineer for whatever reason, but you can't convince me a man who lost sleep over the death of a pedestrian hit while he operated the train days earlier would intensionally, deliberately run a red light when his own life was at stake. That's just crazy logic. It makes me angry to see people drag his name through the mud and yet it may bear out a quote someone once said "it takes years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." It's all very sad and still gives me shivers and brings me to tears on ocasion. Call me the Rob Sanchez torch carrier and tell me I'm wrong for defending him, but I'm not convinced at all that he's in the category of dirty criminal or monster. Sorry guys I'm not buying that one. Inattentive? Breaking obvious policy? Perhaps. The investigation is still on, there was only a public hearing laying out the events that occurred just prior to the accident. People who know my interest in this have asked me what I think. What I think is that it's all very sad and he deserves some dignity, respect and courtesy like everyone else who died in the wreck.---Shelley Queen of Bells

— Shelley
March 14, 2009 at 10:32 p.m.


every night i hear the metrolink train blow it's horn in the distance -- it breaks my heart EVERY NIGHT.

i heard the train blow it's whistle minutes before the crash on that dreaded day.

i watched them pull officer desha's young body out of that train and i cried. i had met her a year before, and i never forgot her.
she was such a beautiful girl.



riders reported him. employees reported him. a supervisor stepped onto his train and dialed his cell phone - it rang in as he hid it in his hand ! it was supposed to be TURNED OFF WHILE HE WAS WORKING.

he should have been fired.

robert sanchez was a DANGEROUS, DEFIANT man who eventually killed 24 people, injured numerous other people, and shattered countless lives.

get some help shelley.

— live at leeds
March 19, 2009 at 12:05 a.m.


"Metrolink engineer Robert Sanchez was twice warned by supervisors about improper use of cell phones while in train control cabins. On the day of the crash, he sent and received 57 text messages, including one 22 seconds before the crash.

Also troubling is that messages from Sanchez show that he allowed rail enthusiasts into the control cabin, which is forbidden by Metrolink policies.

Federal officials said Sanchez sent and received 43 text messages and made four phone calls while on duty that day, including one that he sent 22 seconds before the collision.

The texts indicate Sanchez had allowed the teenage boy and a friend to ride in the cab and sit at the controls four days before the crash, and that he was planning to let the teenage boy drive the train between four stations on the evening of the crash.

"I'm gonna do all the radio talkin' ... ur gonna run the locomotive & I'm gonna tell u how to do it," Sanchez wrote in one text.

— Angry in Los Angeles
March 21, 2009 at 7:08 p.m.

Hi Everyone, Today I went to a trophy shop near my home and submitted a picture and caption for Robert as a memorial plaque. I will have the finished plaque in my hand next Saturday April 24. I've been planning this since late September and finally decided on the caption. The picture was graciously donated by one of Rob's friends. It is a picture that was shown in the paper in early September. My heart has always ached for this man despite everything and I've always thought someone should make a memorial plaque for him. My next step will be to find someone who is legitimately interested in taking the plaque and publicly displaying it as a small memorial to him. If anyone is genuinely interested please email me. I have a new email address different from the one posted in an earlier post. Sanchez family may your son and brother rest in peace. Shelley Queen of Bells

— Shelley
April 18, 2009 at 8:15 p.m.

Hi I believe I forgot to include my email in my last post. It is if anyone is interested in Rob's memorial plaque. I reserve the right to give it to whomever shows the most maturity and respect. Shelley, Pearl, Brandy

— Shelley
April 19, 2009 at 9:30 p.m.

Hi to those who read .
I am not family or friend of any of the victims of Robert. So i have no remorse for any except Robert Sanchez. thank you Robert Sanchez

— Shelley
May 3, 2009 at 4:36 a.m.

to shelley
I have never ever thought my father would be killed.always thought he would pass surrounded by love ones letting him see his goals and furture be fulfilled in his lifetime.but i guess he was in the wrong place right? please dont post these insulting meomories of a careless person. i wish you were on that train... really i do

— son of victim of rob's carelessness
May 3, 2009 at 4:29 p.m.

We hurt so bad, we lost someone we loved so dearly... It's so easy for people to say don't blame & forgive, but its much easier said than done, the reason this happened & because someone was doing something on the job that he should not have been doing, he not only caused the death's of 24 innocent people he also SHATTERED all of our lives as we have to go on everyday with such sadness that NEVER goes away. We miss our loved ones so much, Sept. 12th is such a sad day. Shelley all I can say to you is you really need to get a life, you are obssesed with this guy... I don't get it, you really need HELP !!!!

— Lost a loved one & still hurting so bad
May 8, 2009 at 4:17 p.m.

The quest continues. The transcripts of Rob's text messages show someone with a lot of patience and someone who wanted to give something despite breaking company policy for all his own reasons. Safety issues, as well as personal responsibility are at the heart of this accident, but the last few days of one's life should not define his character. I'm sure his friends are hurting and his family as well, along with everyone else who is left behind to deal with the aftermath. In the grief and the anger and the lawsuits, investigations, and days to follow let's remember that he died, too and deserves some respect as much as all the others who parished with him. Many have said kind things about him on this page, others are angry, and I continue to look for a place to display a memorial plaque dedicated to him. Perhaps I am the only one who will do this. Perhaps that time is not yet. If anyone who knows him still follows this page please know my sympathy is with you. Anyone who lost loved ones who reads this my heart goes out to you. May all those who parished be rememberd with kindness and dignity. Shelley, Queen of Bells

— Shelley Queen of Bells
May 9, 2009 at 7:46 p.m.

why cant we just say we feel the way we feel! Miss. Alongi ? pearl and brandy would defend you. lol

— someone who cares
May 10, 2009 at 11:02 p.m.

These responses are a microcosm of what is wrong with how the masses view death, religion, and responsibility.

Why because this man dies should we feel sorry for him OR his family? What is wrong with judging such a person who appears to have shown complete neglect toward his responsibilities of keeping many people safe?

Its obvious that a lot of you probably feel empathy because of your own fears of being judged for your shortcomings, and the thing is, if you don't want to be judged with such prejudice then don't do anything as selfish and ignorant as this idiot.

And as for those who compared this dead man with drunk drivers who kill others, you are spot on. There is no difference other then the fact that fools believe doing insane things while driving sober is safe only because so many people do it and you can't spend time in jail for texting/putting on makeup etc. Frankly its just as dangerous as DUI and if you do this kind of stuff you deserve jail time.

And lets keep God out of this. God is an aspect of your mind that you don't know exists, if God can judge and you can't with your innate reasoning than you are not human.

— Daniel
June 1, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.

Just a small update on Rob's memorial plaque. I have it hanging right here above my computer. In two weeks I am on vacation and I will be starting my search for a place for it. I've had one rejection so far, our local cafe at the train station said no. There's a lot of work to be done. Soon even before the plaque hangs somewhere I wil have a web site up with a page as an online memorial to him. I'll let you know when it's up and running.

Since the accident I've started reading about the railroads in America. the story is incredible, sometimes the personalities remind me of my own personality. One person on this page said i was obsessed with Rob Sanchez and was right. It's the way I'm wired. Do I owe my discovery of trains and the rails to the sad death of one engineer? If I do then that's the way it is. The building of the railroads in America is a long involved story, Rob Sanchez in all his complications was part of what made this dream possible as are others who run them now. Rest in peace, all. Shelley, Pearl, Brandy

— Shelley
June 18, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

Shelley should be blocked from posting on this web site, let her start her own like she said she was going to do. Having her praise this guy left & right, really hurts those of us who lost a loved one because of this guys negligence. I am VERY glad the cafe rejected her from placing this STUPID plaque that she has had made, here's an idea Shelley you keep it hanging above your computer so you can look at it all day long, because no body else is obsessed with this guy the way you are and none of us wants to see the STUPID thing. I am sure that his loved ones are hurting just as much as the rest of us who lost someone, but we do not NEED or WANT you pushing him down all our throats, give it up already, maybe you should go talk to someone, because you clearly need some HELP!!

— So Confussed
July 2, 2009 at 12:45 p.m.

Rob, a memorial plaque hangs in your memory at the chatsworth station cafe. For those who love ad mourn you, for those who understand you were capable of producing so much more than anger, greif and tears, you will always be in our hearts. In memory of Rob Sanchez, July, 2009

— Shelley
July 9, 2009 at 7:04 a.m.

Hi Everyone, It was in the best interest it seems of many to remove the plaque from the Chatsworth cafe. I have enlisted the aide of one of the last people to see Rob before the accident in locating another spot. Two heads are better than one. Rob, we will find your corner. A man with such varied places should find a spot for his memory. Apparently he was a Dodges fan, yea! All our hearts go out to so many who lost so much that day. My earlier post stands. We miss him, he will be in our hearts and he was capable of producing so much more than anger, grief and tears. Our love goes out to all who knew him. We'll keep you posted. Shelley, Always in Pursuit of Respect for Rob Sanchez

— Shelley
July 11, 2009 at 10:25 a.m.

How dare you, try to hang that dreadful plaque in Chatsworth, its like a slap in the face to all the loved ones who lost someone that day. I can only guess that you have not ever lost someone like we all have, because if you had, you would surely not be on this crusade for this guy. It really is very upseting to us all, just go away already.

— Wanting Shelley to go away
July 13, 2009 at 11:43 a.m.

Hi Everyone, Plans continue for the respectful preservation of Rob Sanchez's memory. I have watched this page turn from respectful memories of him to a forum for unhappiness and anger expressed toward Rob Sanchez and also my desire to kindly remember him. I have enjoyed reading many of the stories about him on this page, especially the kind words said about him by conductors and dispatchers. I would also like to thank his colleagues who have not posted on this page for sharing their memories with me and for their support. I feel due to the doragatory nature taken by the last few posts that it is time to move my updates to other places. If you are genuinely interested in following this story please click on throughout the next few months where regular posts will be shown. I thank the Los Angeles Times for dedicating a page to Robert's memory. It has unfortunately become a place for disrespect and detraction from an otherwise professional engineer who made it seems a tragic mistake. Remember the investigation is still not completed. My heart goes out to all who lost so much on that day. Best of wishes to all in their recovery. And if friends of Robert still look at this page on occasion please know my heart goes out to you, too. There are many nice online tributes to him on other sites. There are many who remember him with kindness.

— Shelley Queen of Bells`
July 22, 2009 at 10:02 p.m.

listen here, "queen of bells"...
you need to get on with your life and find another project than the sorry individual that sanchez was. make your life count, don't waste it on somenone who killed so many innocent people by doing something as stupid as playing with his phone. his picture among the other victims is an insult and a slap in the face of the families who lost a dear member that day. It is a slap in my face every single time i visit this website...this tragedy changed our lives forever and you are here bragging about a criminal. You need to be banned from here and LA Times needs to remove sanchez's picture and page from their website. I'm glad to see you're taking your comments someplace else, since all you've done here was turning a knife in our hearts..i hope you get to meet sanchez one day, and it won't be in heaven. I hope this is the last time we've heard from you...go hide now.

— Lucia
July 28, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

A small Tribute

Hush my friend, do I hear you cry,
When you think of me, in the middle of the night;
When sleep has fled, and all you remember,
Is what was and what could never be.

If my face, won’t leave the corner of your mind,
If I walk with you now each and every mile,
There must be a reason, that you remember,
A sparkling eye and a winning smile.

Won’t you remember me,
And all the things I showed you,
Remember me and everything I told you,
And if I didn’t do everything right, all the time,
Remember my heart was broken, and your tears mix with mine.


If I couldn’t say I’m sorry, if you never saw me cry,
It didn’t mean I ever meant to say goodbye;
And if you couldn’t hear me, When I called with my last breath,
Always think of me when I was at my best.

Won’t you please remember all the good things when you’re sad
All the moments we shared together, and all the fun we had,
And all the things that were not said and that I could never say,
And everything we meant to do and didn’t on that day.

If I was there with you I’d dry up all your tears,
But now we parted company,
And please throughout the years,

Won’t you remember me,

Remember me,
And won’t you please be kind.

— Shelley Alongi
August 29, 2009 at 5:25 p.m.

This Sanchez guy doesn't deserve to be included with this group of memorials. He is undeserving. I work in public transportation and not once have I placed my passengers or passengers in other vehicles in danger by talking or texting on my cell phone. My cell phone stays in my pocket when I am at work and only comes out on my breaks or after I am off the clock!

— Gil
September 12, 2009 at 11:26 a.m.

Rob, yesterday September 11 I was at CWT; I laid flowers for you. Today, Sept 12 I was on an Amtrak train passing through CWT and the place where you hit the Leesdale local one year ago today. In the fun of today's trip I thought of you. I've learned so much about your beloved trains since that day. I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to all those who lost that day and to you, too. Your friends miss you.

— Shelley
September 12, 2009 at 10:45 p.m.

rob, thursday Sept 24 I met your trainer for the Ventura County line only briefly. It could have been you sitting up there. I hope he can help. Chris told me you went to see bob on the platform at CWT on your vacation. that was nice of you. We miss you. Your plaque is here waiting smiling at me. RIP. Shelley

— Shelley Alongi
September 27, 2009 at 9:16 p.m.

While Mr. Sanchez made a mistake, it was the system put in place by Metrolink's administration that allowed a simple mistake to cause such a tragedy. Placing the station after the second warning light so an enigeer had to stare intently to see that the third light was red and not to be passed, is one example. A repeater light could have been at the station and "in his face" so he would know not to proceed even while distracted by his texting. Ignoring reports of his texting behavior is another. Allowing sloppy communication between the conductor and engineer is another. As long as Metrolink looks outward for blame, and not inward to improve, deaths will continue

— Jim Osborn
September 8, 2010 at 7:45 a.m.

@Jim Osborn:

Sanchez was warned NUMEROUS TIMES not to text while driving that train.

HE CHOSE TO IGNORE THOSE WARNINGS, and now 25 people are dead, many are permanently injured, and lives are shattered.

The wreck was 100% HIS FAULT.

— No Excuses
September 21, 2010 at 1:34 p.m.

Share a memory of Robert.

Email addresses are not republished or used for marketing purposes.
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.