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Engineer nodded off; caused crash that killed four

Oct 29, 2014 8:38 am
Jim Fitzgerald is reporting for the Associated Press federal regulators ruled Tues., Oct. 28, a sleep-deprived engineer was the cause of a derailment last year that killed four people and injured more than 70. The National Transportation Board said William Rockefeller, of Germantown, nodded off at the controls of the commuter train just before taking a 30 mph curve at 82 mph last December. Rockefeller’s sleepiness was due to a combination of an undiagnosed disorder and a drastic shift in his work schedule, the National Transportation Safety Board said. It said the railroad lacked a policy to screen engineers for sleep disorders, which also contributed to the crash. The NTSB also said a system that would have automatically applied the brakes would have prevented the crash. The board also issued rulings on four other Metro-North accidents that occurred in New York and Connecticut in 2013 and 2014, repeatedly finding fault with the railroad. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said the report revealed “a horror house of negligence resulting in injury, mayhem and death.” Metro-North is the second-largest commuter rail line in the country. It carried more than 83 million riders between New York City and its suburbs last year. Read the full Associated Press story in the Daily Freeman.
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