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Chatsworth Metrolink crash victims remembered on 5th anniversary

September 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thursday marked five years since the Metrolink crash that killed 24 passengers and injured more than 100 others. A memorial was held for the victims at the Moorpark Station.

The bell from Metrolink train No. 111 tolled 24 times, once for each passenger killed. Some of their loved ones and survivors from the crash gathered to remember the day that forever changed their lives.

"I think about it every hour, every day, except when I'm sleeping," said Jim Paulson, who was in the third car. He was knocked unconscious and broke one shoulder that day.

In addition to the 24 passengers, the train engineer also died in the accident.

A commemorative plaque now stands at the Moorpark Station, where the train would've arrived at about 4:40 p.m. But instead, it collided with an oncoming freight in Chatsworth. Investigators say the engineer was texting and ran a red light signal, causing the deadliest crash in Metrolink's history.

"No one could fathom the lack of professionalism that that engineer engaged in," said Moorpark City Councilman Keith Millhouse.

Although five years have passed, Paulson says he remains a different person today than the person he was before Sept. 12, 2008.

"It's important to say, 'Thank you, I appreciate you.' I don't really feel like I'm in a hurry to do anything anymore," said Paulson.


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