Metro-North Train Engineer May Have Fallen Asleep Before Crash

Metro-North Train Engineer May Have Fallen Asleep Before CrashImage via

The engineer of the Metro-North train that crashed yesterday morning was either sleeping or "zoned out" when the train derailed, killing four and injuring over 60.

According to reports, William Rockefeller woke up just as the train took a 30 mile per hour bend in the Bronx at 82 miles per hour. The New York Post reports that Rockefeller told investigators that he "zoned out" and was woken up by a whistle that blows whenever the train is moving too fast. The train's data recording device says that he hit the brakes a mere five seconds before the crash. 

Meanwhile, DNAinfo claims sources told them that Rockefeller basically admitted to falling asleep while the train was on a straightaway just before the curve. Though Rockefeller intially claimed that the brakes had failed, the NTSB says it is unaware of any such problems. 

Investigators have confiscated Rockefeller's cell phone to make sure he wasn't texting or distracted prior to the crash. Though he was tested for drugs and alcohol, investigators do not believe either played a factor.

[via Gawker, DNAinfo and New York Post]

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