Former Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell, who resigned overnight when the agency's board did not back up her statements about the engineer's culpability in the Chatsworth train crash, just talked to Steve Hymon at the L.A. Times' Bottleneck Blog.
"I felt the damage to my reputation is so great, I could not work for these people anymore," Tyrrell said. "If I am not mistaken, the engineer blew through a light. The media got on top of this story apparently so unaccustomed to a public agency telling the truth they started to spin it that we were trying to throw all the blame on the engineer. Metrolink is responsible for the engineer, they are responsible for overseeing the contractor. Talking about the human error aspect of this is not a way to shift blame from Metrolink -- Metrolink is still the responsible party to oversee the contract with the engineer and the conductors."
She said Metrolink's CEO David Solow gave her the authority to make statements to the press on Saturday about the cause of the crash.
"He told me to go ahead...I felt that when my reputation was called into question in the national media by Ron Roberts that there was no going back as far as I was concerned. I believe that David Solow's decision to allow us to go public without waiting for the NTSB to point the finger was a brave and honorable thing to do. We have a basic difference here that can't be resolved. I see no way I can represent them and maintain my own standards. They are free to conduct their own business as they see fit."
Ron Roberts is the Metrolink board chairman who issued a statement yesterday countering what Tyrrell had told the media.
Also: The Cal State Northridge Daily Sundial has done a nice story on Aida Magdaleno, a 19-year-old student who died in the crash. You might have seen her sister, also a student, on TV looking frantically for Aida on Friday night then grieving — and vowing to change the world in her sister's name — after receiving the bad news. Aida had recently decided to become a social worker and donated most of her clothes.