Questions Follow Fast Announcement Of Probable Cause In LA Train Wreck

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal investigators are playing down a local TV report that the engineer of a wrecked California commuter train had exchanged a brief text message with a teenager shortly before the crash.

Los Angeles’ KCBS says the teen is among a group of rail fans who befriended the engineer and asked him questions about his work.

Meanwhile, the train’s operator says its preliminary investigation has determined the engineer failed to heed a red signal light, leading to the head-on collision with a Union Pacific freight train.

But National Transportation Safety Board members say it’s much too early to make that call.

The Metrolink engineer was among at least 25 people who died.

Although the National Transportation Safety Board isn’t ruling out Metrolink’s theory, it will complete its witness interviews and review of evidence — which could take a year — before announcing conclusions.