Questions follow unusually fast announcement of probable cause in LA deadly rail wreck

LOS ANGELES (AP) âÄî In a surprisingly swift assessment, the operators of the commuter train involved in the head-on crash that killed at least 25 people blamed its engineer for the horrific accident. However, a National Transportation Safety Board member cautioned that it was too early to establish the cause of Friday’s accident. Others, too, questioned the timing of the operator’s move to affix culpability. Rescuers were still sifting through the twisted wreckage Saturday when Metrolink announced âÄî 19 hours after the crash âÄî that its preliminary investigation determined the engineer failed to heed a red signal light, leading to the collision with a Union Pacific freight train. The engineer was among the dead, the NTSB said. His name has not been released. A total of 135 people were injured. A visibly distraught Metrolink spokeswoman, Denise Tyrrell, said the company was stepping ahead of the NTSB in suggesting a cause of the accident because “we want to have an honest dialogue with our community.” She said internal investigators had reviewed dispatcher recordings and operation of the trackside signal system.