Charles E. Peck: The man who called his family 35 times after his death!

Charles E. Peck: The man who called his family 35 times after his death! 4

Things that are eerie or mysterious have a strange influence on us, and they frequently drive our thoughts insane with the desire to find a convincing explanation. When the family of Charles E. Peck got multiple phone calls for 12 hours after he died in a terrific railway accident, it confused even the skeptics and provided hope to those who believe in life after death.

Life of Charles E. Peck

Charles E. Peck
Charles E. Peck. © Image Credit: MRU

It was 2008 and life was going good for Charles E. Peck from Salt Lake City. Following a divorce, he had found love again, and he was eager to move in with his fiancée Andrea Katz in California so they could finally begin arranging their wedding.

Unfortunately, the couple would never be able to go down the aisle. And the manner of Peck’s death in one of the deadliest train accidents in US history would create a mystery that has yet to be solved.

Charles E. Peck was born on October 16, 1950, in California, USA. Peck worked as a Delta Air Lines agent at Salt Lake City International Airport for 19 years, before traveling to Los Angeles for a job interview at Van Nuys Airport.

Getting a job there would have allowed him to marry his fiancée Andrea from Westlake Village. Although the couple was ready to get married, the fact that they did not live in the same state posed a problem. So, when a vacancy arose at Van Nuys Airport, it must have seemed like fate was intervening.

The fateful train ride of Charles E. Peck: 2008 Chatsworth train collision

On September 12, 2008, Charles boarded a plane to Los Angeles for the interview and then caught the Metrolink to its last stop at Moorpark, where Andrea had arranged to pick him up. There were 225 people on that Friday evening train and it was due to arrive at its final destination at 4.45 p.m.

That time, engineer Robert Sanchez was driving the train from Union Station during his second half split-shift. Sanchez, on the other hand, ran a red light while texting on his phone. As the train went through Chatsworth, the train went onto a single track shared by a Union Pacific freight train traveling in the opposite direction.

Charles E. Peck
Rescuers work to pull people from mangled wreckage in Chatsworth, San Fernando Valley, California. © Image Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Eventually, the Metro collided with the freight train coming from the opposite direction at a combined speed of 83 miles per hour. 135 people injured, and 25 individuals killed, including Peck in what became known as the “2008 Chatsworth train accident.” Andrea was on her way to pick him up from the train station when she heard the news of the accident on the radio.

Charles E. Peck
KCAL-TV news showed a text message allegedly sent by the Metrolink train’s engineer 22 seconds before the crash. © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

An investigation would later confirm that engineer was receiving and sending text messages to two teenagers who stated they befriended him to learn about his profession. According to the events’ established timeline, the engineer sent his final text message 22 seconds before colliding with the freight train.

The mysterious phone call

During the 11 hours following the accident, Peck’s family and fiancée received several calls from his phone, but when they responded, all they got was static rather than his voice. It did, however, give them hope that he was still alive, trapped in the debris and too injured to talk.

Andrea, Peck’s fiancée, was heading to the railway station to pick him up when she heard about the collision on the radio. Spurred on by the assumption that he was still alive, Andrea screamed her encouragement to Peck that assistance was on the way every time a connection got through and she heard silence on the other end of the line.

During the first twelve hours before his corpse was discovered, his kid, brother, sister, and stepmother, as well as his fiancée, got a total of 35 calls from his phone. When they attempted to contact him again, they were only able to reach his voice mail.

Throughout the night, firemen and police worked to collect the other victims from the carriages, using the signal from Pecks’ phone to attempt to locate him. The calls finally came to a halt about 3:00 a.m. the next morning.

Charles E. Peck: The man who called his family 35 times after his death! 5
Rescue workers in front of the Metrolink locomotive lying on its side after penetrating the lead passenger car (left). © Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Peck was recovered an hour later by the rescue team. To his family’s dismay, the guy they adored had died. However, when doctors examined his corpse, they realized he could not have survived the initial collision. So how could Peck have made phone calls to his family for 12 hours after his death?

Several theories have been put forth as to why Peck’s phone may have contacted his loved ones even after his death. Some believe the calls were made by trolls — but this is ruled out by the fact that no one but Andrea knew he was on the train, much less missing.

Another popular hypothesis is that the device malfunctioned, which is a possibility. However, it does not explain why the calls appeared to be limited to his nearest and dearest and were not reported to his wider contacts.

Final words

Is it possible that Peck somehow crossed the barrier between this world and the next to lead his family to his body and bid them farewell? Finally, no one has been able to solve the mystery, and when rescuers recovered his body, his cell phone was nowhere to be found.

How or why the phone calls continued for so long and so frequently after his death is a mystery that will most likely never be solved.

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