Jewish Journal


September 17, 2008

Metrolink crash victim’s phone kept calling family



My new local paper is the Daily Breeze, and today reporter Larry Altman wrote this eerie, and tragic, story about Friday’s Metrolink train crash that left 26 dead.

As Chuck Peck’s family waited, holding out hope he was alive in the wreckage of the Metrolink train in Chatsworth, their phones rang.

“You look at your phone and it’s Dad!” Peck’s son, CJ said Tuesday. “He can’t be dead.”

For most of Friday night into Saturday morning, as firefighters worked to rescue survivors of the Metrolink train crash and recover the bodies of those who died, the former Torrance resident’s cellular phone kept calling his son, his brother, his stepmother, his sister and his fiancee.

Peck’s family members received about 35 calls from Peck’s cellular telephone through the night. No one said anything on the other end. All they heard was static and indefinite sounds.

“For us, it was just hope,” said Peck’s sister Barbara Lopez of Carson. “We had no idea he had already perished.”

The amount of empty hope they must have felt is breathtaking.  Like the other stories that have emerged from the Chatsworth crash, there is a lot of grief in Peck’s. He had been living in Salt Lake City and was in town for a job interview; he was en route to his fiancee’s home in Westlake Village when steel smashed into steel.

(Hat tip: LAObserved.)

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