The engineer who was involved in Sunday’s New York train derailment apparently “was nodding off and caught himself too late” before the accident that killed four people and injured 67 others, a union representative who has been meeting with the man told CNN on Tuesday.
Anthony Bottalico, the union representative, said engineer William Rockefeller Jr. recognizes his responsibility in the incident.
“I think most people are leaning towards human error,” Bottalico said.
Rockefeller’s lawyer, Jeffrey Chartier, characterized what happened as “highway hypnosis.” He said his client had had a full night’s sleep before the crash, and that Rockefeller had no disciplinary record.
In a brief conversation with investigators, Rockefeller said that moments before the derailment of the Hudson Line train in the Bronx he was “going along and I’m in a daze. I don’t know what happened,” according to a law enforcement official familiar with that conversation.
Asked by investigators what he was thinking when he said he was dazed, the engineer said he couldn’t say. Rockefeller spoke to Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York Police detectives at the crash site before he was taken to the hospital Sunday.
This guy killed 4 people and injured 67 by falling asleep at 82 miles an hour on a 30 mile curve.
Do. Not. Make. Excuses.
It is pretty damn simple, this dude screwed up.
Did he intend to kill anyone?
But.. You can’t attempt to act like this is just part of the job.
This wasn’t some guy driving home from a 12-hour plant shift, this is his job.
“It’s very realistic that he, in fact, really did fall asleep,” he said. “Falling asleep at the controls of a locomotive is a horrible evil. You’re not supposed to do that. He really doesn’t want to come out and say, ‘I fell asleep.’ It’s emotionally embarrassing. It’s not just a rules violation. There’s a psychological component. If you come out and say, ‘I fell asleep,’ it’s just purely beyond embarrassing. It’s a violation of the sacred understanding of what a train crew should do.”
The NTSB said it has booted the rail union from its investigation into the weekend’s deadly train derailment for violating confidentiality rules.
The agency made the announcement late Tuesday night, hours after a union representative told CNN that the train engineer apparently “was nodding off and caught himself too late” before the accident.
The train derailment Sunday killed four people and injured 67 others in New York.
In its announcement, the NTSB specifically cited those comments as the violation.