The Metro North trained in the Bronx that derailed on Sunday, killing four and injuring dozens more, was flying along the tracks at a rate of 82 mph, close to three times above the 30 mph limit, when it hit the curve.
At this time, suspicions have turned to William Rockefeller the engineer who should have been able to see the curve approaching rapidly since he was sitting in the first car using his remote controls guiding the locomotive that was pushed from the rear of the train.
On Monday, New York Governor Cuomo said the turn is tricky, but a turn that has been negotiated all day long for decades. The governor’s comments came prior to the feds revealing the speed the train was traveling prior to reaching the curve.
The governor said he thought it would be about the speed more than about the turn.
The cell phone for Rockefeller has been recovered by federal investigators, though investigators do not believe he was talking on the phone when the crash occurred about 7:20 am on Sunday.
The engineer submitted to both an alcohol and drug test, but the results have yet to come back.
The district attorney’s office in the Bronx launched its own investigation just in case any criminal charges must be filed. It has subpoenaed the engineer’s test results and phone.
Rockefeller was injured in the crash and told his supervisors he hit the train’s brakes prior to it reaching the curve, but it did not slow or stop it.
Investigators said that at nine previous stops the brakes worked fine.
Authorities said the brakes were not completely engaged when the train of seven cars tumbled off its tracks about 100 yards before Spuyten Duyvil station.
The brakes, said one investigator were not completely engaged until five seconds prior to the train stopping.
Investigators plan to question Rockefeller to determine if the accident was his mistake or a malfunction mechanically.
What they already know is it was too late for the train to slow in time when the speed throttle was downshifted to neutral, just six seconds prior to the train skidding to a stop yards from the Hudson river.