Federal investigators of the New York train crash said Tuesday that they did not find mechanical errors in the commuter cars that crashed on Sunday. Attention is focusing on the driver.
As the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the Sunday derailing of a Metro-North train continues, the possibility of mechanical error as a cause is slowly being ruled out.
The NTSB’s preliminary investigations revealed there were no anomalies in the train’s brake performance, and there was no indication that the brake systems were not functioning properly, said NTSB member Earl Weener during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
The train’s driver, William Rockefeller, who was injured in the crash, told investigators that he “lost focus” and went into a daze shortly before the crash, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday. A second source also said Mr. Rockefeller went into a “highway hypnosis” before the crash took place.
The Metro-North train went hurling off its tracks at 82 m.p.h. in an area where the speed limit is 30 m.p.h.
Whatever the findings on the cause of the crash, the engineer could be faulted for the train's speed alone, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.