New reports about the investigation into Sunday's rail disaster in New York, indicate that the engineer at the controls lost focus or possibly even fell asleep moments before the tragic accident.
According to Murray Weiss of DNAinfo New York, Metro-North engineer William Rockefeller "all but admitted he dozed off" shortly before his train entered a 30-m.p.h. curve at a speed of 82 m.p.h. However, the New York Post's sources say that Rockefeller told investigators that he "zoned out," suggesting that he wasn't actually asleep, as the other story claims. In either case, the evidence suggest that the train's driver was not paying attention to the train's speed, and made no attempt to slow down until it was too late. The train's seven cars left the tracks, killing four people and injuring more than 60 others.
Investigators have already revealed that the brakes were engaged on the speeding train just seconds before the crash happened, but it was too late to have any effect. Officials would not speculate publicly about whether the cause of the crash was human error or equipment failure, but this report would seem to put the blame squarely on the train's engineer.
The 20-year veteran of the railroad is said to be distraught over the accident and has been cooperating with investigators. According to reports, they do not believe that drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, nor do officials believe that Rockefeller was distracted by his cellphone, which he had on him.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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