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NRI Atul Vyas, 20 died among 25 dead in LA-area train wreck

Los Angeles , California, Sep. 15, 2008
Jasdev Singh

NRI Vijay Vyas, as one of 25 people who died when a Metrolink commuter train had a head-on collision with a freight train near Los Angeles on Friday. This night's rail disaster was the nation's deadliest in 15 years, a wreck that killed 25 people and left such a mass of smoldering, twisted metal that it took nearly a day to recover all the bodies.

Father, an engineer, Vijay Vyas holds a photograph of his late son Atul Vyas, 20, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2008, in Simi Valley, California and told media:

  • Vijay scored in the top 1 percent on his medical school entrance exams, an achievement that would become the final honor in a life of academic achievements. He was a thoroughly brilliant kid and flying high.
  • When he was in the 10th grade, I felt that he was smarter than me because he never had to study.
  • He was inducted into a Latino club at school because "they loved him so much. He was a very popular kid

Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said that it was a Metrolink engineer that failed to stop at a red signal and that was the probable cause" of the collision with a freight train in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.

It is confirmed that 135 people were injured, with 81 transported to hospitals in serious or critical condition. 9 of 34 patients are still in critical condition.

Up to now, the fhe following persons are confirmed dead in Friday's Metrolink train disaster

  • Christopher Aiken, 38
  • Dennis Arnold, 75
  • Dean Lafoy Brower, 51
  • Alan Lloyd Buckley, 59, a mechanic for the city of Burbank
  • Spree Desha, 35, of Simi Valley, Los Angeles Police Department Officer
  • Walter Arney Fuller, 54
  • Michael Hammersly, 45
  • Jacob Hefter, 18, of Palmdale, a student at California State University, Long Beach
  • Kari Hsieh, no age given
  • Ernest Stephen Kish II, 47
  • Gregory Lintner, 48
  • Manuel Macias, 31, of Santa Paula, a yoga instructor
  • Aida Magdeleno, 19
  • Charles Peck, 58
  • Howard Barry Pompel, 69
  • Donna Remata, 49, of Simi Valley
  • Doyle Jay Souser, 56
  • Atul Vyas, 20
  • Maria Elena Villalobos, 18, of North Park, a student at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Yi Chao, 71

On Sunday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited Sunday with patients at the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, about five miles west of the crash site. He said many of the 14 patients there were in good spirits despite horrific injuries. Six remained in critical condition.



Photo sent by S.Patel
Atul Vyas, 20, died in a commuter train crash on Friday.