The adult children of the Metrolink engineer killed in a collision between a commuter train and a pickup have sued the regional rail agency and Union Pacific Railroad Co., alleging that negligence in the design and operation of the rail car led to their 62-year-old father’s death.
In a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Shawn and Kara Steele seek compensation for the medical care and burial of their late father, Glenn Steele, who at the time of his death was considered the most senior engineer at Metrolink.
Steele died March 3, 2015, about one week after the early morning crash in Oxnard that also left 34 people injured.
A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released in March 2015 found that the pickup driver intended to turn onto a street but mistakenly veered onto the tracks. The truck became stuck and the train struck it, causing four of the train’s cars to go off the tracks, which are owned by Union Pacific.
In their lawsuit, Steele’s children allege that the negligent and careless design and maintenance of the train led to the accident.
“It should never have happened,” said Tony De Los Reyes, an attorney representing the Steele children. The train, he said, was “obviously” not crash-worthy.
Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said the agency was aware of the lawsuit but unable to comment because it is pending litigation.
“Our hearts go out to Glenn’s family and friends,” the statement said. “He was an experienced, hardworking and veteran railroader.”
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