MANHATTAN — Investigators believe the motorman at the controls in the deadly Metro-North Railroad derailment in the Bronx Sunday dozed off for a few fateful moments and woke up too late to stop the speeding train from hurtling off the tracks, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Veteran engineer William Rockefeller all but admitted he was falling asleep as the train came roaring to a curved section of track north of Spuyten Duyvil in statements made shortly after four people were killed and dozens were injured in the wreck, sources said.
He apparently woke up just as the train, travelling at 82 MPH, was heading into a precarious curve that called for the train’s speed to be reduced to just 30 MPH.
As the train entered the curve, sources said, Rockefeller was jolted from his sleep and hit the brake, but not in time. The cars derailed, and several careened onto their sides before grinding to a halt on the edge of the Harlem River. Four people were killed, three of whom were thrown out of the cars, and more than 60 others were injured.
Rockefeller, 46, has been an engineer for roughly 11 years and a Metro-North employee for 20 years, and has an unblemished record.
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