Union official: Engineer was 'nodding' before derailment - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Bronx derailment

Union official: Engineer was 'nodding' before derailment

Posted: Updated:
In this photo taken on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, Metro North Railroad engineer William Rockefeller is wheeled on a stretcher away from the area where the commuter train he was operating derailed in the Bronx. (AP Photo/Robert Stolarik) In this photo taken on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, Metro North Railroad engineer William Rockefeller is wheeled on a stretcher away from the area where the commuter train he was operating derailed in the Bronx. (AP Photo/Robert Stolarik)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The engineer who was operating the Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx on Sunday caught himself "nodding" at the controls ahead of the deadly crash, according to a union official.

William Rockefeller "caught himself, but he caught himself too late," said union leader Anthony Bottalico, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier, DNAinfo.com reported that the engineer had dozed off for a few moments and woke up too late to stop the train.

The New York Post reported that Rockefeller had "zoned out" before the deadly incident. Sources told the Post that Rockefeller said he "was in a daze" and was jolted back to reality only after a whistle went off in the front of the train warning him that he was going too fast.

Four passengers were killed and more than 60 injured when the commuter train heading to Manhattan from Poughkeepsie derailed Sunday morning near the Spuyten Duyvil station.

The train was traveling 82 mph as it approached a curve where the derailment occurred with a 30 mph speed limit, said the NTSB.

Investigators have been interviewing crew members, but NTSB officials would not disclose what the engineer had told them.

The throttle went to idle six seconds before the derailed train came to a complete stop — "very late in the game" for a train going that fast" — and the brakes were fully engaged five seconds before the train stopped, saidNational Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener

He said investigators were also examining the engineer's cellphone — apparently to determine whether he was operating the train while distracted.

Asked whether the tragedy was the result of human error or faulty brakes, Weener said: "The answer is, at this point in time, we can't tell."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  • Bronx NewsBronx NewsMore>>

  • Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Bloomberg flies to Israel in show of support

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:12:27 GMT
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
    Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel via a commercial El Al flight despite an FAA ban on U.S.-based airlines flying to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bloomberg on the tarmac outside the El Al jet Wednesday at Ben Gurion International Airport.
  • Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Is NYC the most unhappy city in America?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:29:16 GMT
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
    When researchers in Canada and Harvard University examined the results of a survey that asked “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” they found that New York City is the unhappiest city in the country. The data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Pittsburgh, Louisville, Milwaukee and Detroit round out the list.
  • Protesters want NYPD Commissioner Bratton fired

    Protesters want NYPD Commissioner Bratton fired

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:48:52 GMT
    A group of demonstrators is calling for the resignation of New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton. The group, known as "New Yorkers Against Bratton," held a small protest Monday outside City Hall. Protesters said Bratton needs to be fired after the death of a Staten Island man in police custody.
    A group of demonstrators is calling for the resignation of New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton. The group, known as "New Yorkers Against Bratton," held a small protest Monday outside City Hall. Protesters said Bratton needs to be fired after the death of a Staten Island man in police custody.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices