NEW YORK (PIX11) – The derailed Metro-North train had a safety alarm system that detects if the engineer has become inactive, but it was on the opposite end of the train, far from where it could have helped the dozing driver, William Rockefeller, and potentially averted a deadly disaster.
Rockefeller was in a cab at the front of the train, and the locomotive where the alarm was located was on the opposite end of the seven-car train, pushing the doomed train toward Grand Central Terminal.
Anthony Bottalico, the union chief who represents the train engineer in Sunday’s deadly train derailment, confirmed the story, first reported in the Daily News, to PIX11 News.
The train “alerter” is a safety measure that produces a warning sound if it detects 25 seconds of inactivity by the engineer.
According to Bottalico, of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees, there was “none in the cab car where Billy was.”
Rockefeller prior to Sunday had a spotless safety record with the MTA.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced earlier this week that the train was traveling at 82 MPH when it failed to maneuver the 30 MPH-limit turn at Spuyten Duyvil. Bottalico has said Rockefeller nodded off before the derailment