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Ex-Metrolink spokeswoman awarded $135K

May 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Metrolink has agreed to pay a former spokeswoman $135,500 to settle claims against the agency in the wake of last year's deadly train crash in Chatsworth.Denise Tyrrell resigned after being criticized by Metrolink officials and federal investigators for telling reporters the day after the crash that the train's engineer had run a red light.

Five days later, federal investigators said the engineer, Robert Sanchez, was text messaging seconds before the crash. Investigators also said that Sanchez failed to heed a red light signal.

The head-on crash between the Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train on September 12, 2008 killed 25 people including the engineer. Another 135 passengers were injured.

Metrolink had no comment on the agreement. Tyrrell has agreed not to make any statements that criticize the agency.

Tyrrell recently was hired to manage the California Public Utilities Commission's Los Angeles Office, which regulates Metrolink and other rail agencies.

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