At 7:22AM Sunday morning, a metro-north train in New York was derailed, killing four people and injuring 63, 11 of those critically. First responders arrived on scene near the Spuyten Duyvil train station in the Bronx within minutes. Rescuers attempted breaking into windows and using jacks and airbags to search under the wreckage for survivors. After all known passengers had been recovered from the wreckage, the cars were lifted and inspected for further analysis of what may have happened.
Experts retrieved the black engineering box, which contained information relevant to the crash in order to see how fast the train was going. It was to the surprise of Senator Charles Schumer, in addition to several members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that the train was travelling at a terrifying 82 miles per hour on a curve where the posted speed limit is 30 miles per hour. This detail is gripping enough, but it is also worth noting that the speed limit on the area of the tracks before the curve was 70mph, indicating that the train was already in violation of the speed limit before it reached the curve. Officials say that thorough tests indicated that there was nothing wrong with the tracks themselves.
At this point, an investigation is underway to determine if this was human error, mechanical error, or a mixture of both. The engineer of the train, twenty-year veteran William Rockefeller is currently in the process of being questioned. Experts are also awaiting results from drug and alcohol tests, and are inspecting Rockefeller’s cell phone to see if texting was a contributing factor, like it was for two other train crashes earlier this year. Rockefeller has been fully cooperating with the investigation and colleagues of his say he has an impeccable record as an engineer.