Officials investigating the train that derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in Bronx, New York over the weekend believe human error may have been the main cause of the fatal incident.
The passenger train, which was en route to New York City early Sunday morning, jumped the tracks after going into a curve at 82 mph, nearly three times the speed limit. Four people were killed and dozens more were injured.
Anthony Bottalico, the leader of the rail employees union and the representative for William Rockfeller, the engineer responsible for the crash, said that human error was what may have caused the accident. On the day of the crash, Rockefeller was on the second day of a five-day workweek and reported for duty at 5:04 a.m. after working a typical, nine-hour shift the day before. According to Bottalico, Rockfeller said that he had been in a daze and that his mind had been wandering when he realized the train was in trouble. Rockfeller allegedly caught himself dozing off, and put the train into emergency only six seconds before the train and seven of its cars jumped off the tracks.
National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said that investigators have not yet found any evidence that there were any mechanical issues with the train and New York law enforcement officials have launched a separate investigation to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Rockfeller. Alcohol and drugs have not been cited as factors in the accident, and officials are still investigating the cause.