Engineer dies from California train crash injuries

Associated Press

Los Angeles — An engineer died Tuesday after being injured last week when a Southern California commuter train smashed into a truck on the tracks and derailed, officials said.

Glenn Steele, 62, died at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was transported after the crash, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of the coroner’s office.

Steele was the senior engineer on the Metrolink train and the longest-serving engineer at the Southern California commuter train network, Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said.

The train derailed on Feb. 24 when it struck a heavy pickup truck and trailer that had been abandoned on the tracks in Oxnard, about 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation by numerous agencies.

The pickup driver, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez of Yuma, Arizona, was initially arrested but was subsequently released without charges being immediately filed.

Oxnard police Assistant Chief Jason Benites said Steele’s death changes the nature of the investigation and opens up the potential for a vehicular manslaughter charge.

Police are also awaiting toxicology screening results, though defense attorney Ron Bamieh has said there was no sign his client was impaired.

Steele had been transferred to Cedar Sinai on Wednesday after suffering two cardiac episodes, Benites said.

Bamieh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.