Yi Chao

Yi Chao, 71

Died: September 12, 2008
He is always talkative. He is happy in his grandson, my son. He is 5. He loves him. His grandson wakes every morning and goes into his room.
— Kong Chao, son
A friend drove Yi Chao, an immigrant from Cambodia, into Los Angeles for an eye doctor appointment. Chao then took the train home. After more than a day of frantic searching, his son called the county coroner, at the urging of a reporter, and they told him his father had been killed.
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29 memories of Yi

God Bless you always.

— Christine
September 14, 2008 at 8:34 a.m.

Though I didn't know him directly, you can see how wonderful of a person he was through his children.

My deepest condolences to his family.

— Timbo
September 14, 2008 at 11:51 a.m.

Uncle Yi Chao is a loving, caring person. He loves to smile. He means a lot to his two children.I still don't believe that happened to a good and kind person. He was a greatest father to his children, greatest grandfather to his grandson. He brought all the happiess and loves to his family. How can this tragic loss happen to his family? To kong's family, please give my deepest sympathy to the family. Uncle Yi Chao will be missed by all family members, friends and relatives. I hope he will live peacefully in the heaven. God bless you!

— May Weng
September 14, 2008 at 11:53 a.m.

My father was a kind hearted man who cares very about his family and friends. He loves having people around him and expresses loneliness when they leave. He would always have a big smile whenever he sees my daughter and son. I will miss him very much. I wish him happiness and love where he is now.

— Tony, Caryn (daughter), Ashley, and Adam Weng
September 14, 2008 at 3:42 p.m.

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

— Leo-Los Angeles
September 15, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.

Uncle Yi was one of the most humble and kind-hearted individuals in the world. He will be greatly missed by all of his family members and those who knew him. Rest in peace, Uncle Yi.

— Billy (nephew)
September 15, 2008 at 7:57 a.m.


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


September 15, 2008 at 5:09 p.m.


— Vivian (great niece)
September 15, 2008 at 6:15 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Chao family. I never met Yi but its evident enough that he was a very caring, loving family oriented man. I think this hits a lil close to home for me because my parents are also from Cambodia and it saddens me that his life had to end this way. But just know that hes in a better place & that maybe now he will have that chance to visit home again. God Bless.

— J. Chea- Los Angeles
September 16, 2008 at 11:05 a.m.

At first I didn't know he was dead until my parents started talking about him being in the crash. :(

He was a very kind person, playing with his grandson.
We Will ALWAYS remember him :)

— Kevin (Great Nephew)
September 16, 2008 at 6:09 p.m.

I did not have the priviledge of meeting Mr. Li Chao but it is my honor to know and work with his daughter Caryn, a dedicated and caring nurse who gives so much so that others my be healed. My thoughts are with your family during this time.

— Lea Ann Cook
September 17, 2008 at 9:19 a.m.

God Bless the Chao Family during this difficult time. My prayers are with you all.

— Claudia
September 17, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.

My prayers and condolences to the Chao family.

— Zen Calonzo (Caryn's co-worker)
September 17, 2008 at 5:06 p.m.

I remember the last time i saw you it was at the donut shop though the window. Now you can finally rest.
Going to cambodia with you was and is the best moment of my life we father and son we had fun.

— chi vouy chao
September 18, 2008 at 3:36 p.m.

I never thought in a million years that i would be going through what myself and family are going through right now let along writing about it in the latimes. but i just would like to give my father all the respect and admiration that he deserved by saying I love you pappy, i remember every time i call you that whether it was over the phone or in front of a crowd of people you would always have a big smile and say hi meykee. i have so many memories with you dad but i wish i could have more our time together was cut too short. the last time i saw you, we went out and had lobster with you and mom we had so much fun sitting out on the restaurant patio even though there was so many bees. i remember that whole trip you talked about how you and mom met and how you say that she fell in love with you because of your good charm but she says that you were the one who stalked her every where she went regardless of who was right im so glad that you two met and fell in love, i couldnt have asked for two other crazyass parents. it was good times and we all laughed. i know you worked sooo sooo hard for the family thats why it hurts so much to deal with this because though we didnt see the whole family much but when you were here at least i got to see them once in awhile. i miss and love you so muchHHhhh, my heart cant even describe the words but i know you are in a better place where there is no more pain and suffering. i just ask of you not to worry and or be afraid, i want you to rest soul and be at peace with my grandmothers, grandfathers and aunt and uncles. and pappy though you are not here pysically,spirtually and in our hearts you are i will continue to listen and follow the guidence that you have taught me. I LOVE YOU DAD. always your daughter MEYCHAO

— Mey Chao (daughter)
September 19, 2008 at 12:06 a.m.

My deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the Chao Family. Prayers are with you all. From your comments, Yi was loved deeply and will be greatly missed.

— Holly
September 19, 2008 at 3:38 p.m.

Loved him dearly and those who knew him loved him the same and I will miss him just as much. My fondest memory of my uncle is that he loves his children very much. How hard he worked really showed it, because it was all for them.

— Ty (Nephew)
September 19, 2008 at 6:11 p.m.

How very sad for you to lose your father, grandfather, uncle, husband, friend......you are all his legacy, he will live on. My deepest sympathies to all who knew this dear man. We live with the senselessnes of this accident....Spree our friend....killed too soon...and everyone else who passed. Bless you all.

— L
September 19, 2008 at 11:54 p.m.

to my lovely grandpa you were nice to the family we all love you we miss you i hope you rest in peace.

— ashia chao
September 21, 2008 at 9:57 p.m.

MEY CHAO and Family,
I dont know you but we are all connected as humans through creation and LOVE. I just want to tell you that your family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers and that nothing, not even death will keep you apart. He seemed like a loving family man who loved his friends and family. KEY word: LOVE. Its people like this that makes you realize that this world is beautiful. Your family seems very close and with each and everyone of you, you will show your family what he taught you. I read this on a card the other day and I remembered it..thinking of you and yours and all the others who lost their loved ones: "Each life is a miracle that comes to this world and leaves it a better place than it was before".....and dont forget to SMILE...because from what I read he was full of smiles and that alone says so much.
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) This is for you and yours: A message from above: "You are precious to ME. You are honored and I LOVE YOU! ~Isaiah 43:4 Believe!!!!

— Anel, City of Angels (L.A.), California
September 23, 2008 at 1:07 p.m.

I just want to give my condolences & thank Mey Chao, for even in her pain of losing her father in this accident, she took the time to post condolences to each of the spirits who were in this same tragic accident that left with her father for their journey to a spiritual world. May God Bless those that were loss & their loved ones, family & friends that they left here with us. May we all learn that time is too short here, & may we learn to forgive & to love eachother, before our time here is gone.

— With All My Love - Denver, Colorado
September 24, 2008 at 11:32 p.m.

Thank you Mey Chau for posting condolences to each loss on these postings. See Mey: Your father taught you TRUE VALUE and LOVE, you are showing it. You are his proof! You have such a big heart. I read this and thought of you: Mey...thinking of you. Today marks three weeks. Praying for you and your family. Remember to always have a big smile Meykee. For you:
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.
Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, ""I welcome you.""
"It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.""
God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.
There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.
If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......""My day was not in vain.""
And now I am content....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made you SMILE. :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.
And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.
Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
A message for you:
There is consolation knowing that our lives have a purpose, even if known to God alone. Especially in our most difficult moments, the Lord gives to those who follow Him the peace that this world cannot give.
~With all my LOVE

— Anel Azusena, City of Angels (L.A.), California
September 26, 2008 at 12:14 p.m.

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


my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 9:37 a.m.

to Mey Chao--
I don't know you, but I am so touched by the love you and your family have expressed for your Father. I know you are grieving mightily, as you must. I would like to share with you something that has helped me thru many difficult times...


In a beautiful blue lagoon
on a clear day, a fine sailing-ship
spreads its brilliant white canvas in a fresh morning breeze
and sails out to the open sea. We watch her glide away magnificently
through the deep blue and gradually see her grow smaller and smaller
as she nears the horizon. Finally, where the sea and sky meet,
she slips silently from sight; and someone near me says,
"There, she is gone!" Gone where?
Gone from sight -- that is all.
She is still as large in mast and hull and sail,
still just as able to bear her load. And we can be sure that,
just as we say, "There, she is gone!" another says, "There, she comes!"
- unknown.

Peace to you and your family.

— DJ in Ohio
October 4, 2008 at 8:12 a.m.

We share the sorrow you and your family are experiencing in this most tragic accident. It has effected so many lives and it will be a hard thing to recover from. We also lost our son Christopher in this accident and are trying to deal with it the best we can. If not for the wonderful words of strangers, friends and family alike, it would be unbearable. Every prayer,every kind thought helps in such a big way. May those wonderful memories you have of him sustain you through this most difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you donnaaiken@rochester.rr.com

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 1:38 p.m.


— chi
October 15, 2008 at 5:08 a.m.

I miss you so much...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— mey chao
October 22, 2008 at 12:04 p.m.

the pain does not fade as the days past..its the total opposite. I miss you daddy.

— Mey Chao
November 26, 2008 at 9:51 p.m.

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

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

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.