Metrolink Engineer's Teen Friends Mourn Online
Train lovers post tributes in web groups
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 12:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A small but devoted group of teenage "railfans" has spent the week paying tribute online to the Metrolink train engineer who died in last week's crash in California, reports the LA Times. Most of them have avoided speaking with the press, but their grief comes through in postings on online communities and in YouTube videos.

Many of the teens knew Robert Sanchez personally, and two boys' mention of having received text messages from him the day of the crash sparked outrage and suggestions the engineer's distraction had caused the accident. "It was an innocent thing to memorialize" Sanchez as a man who reached out to the youthful enthusiasts, says one railfan's dad.