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Engineer in Metro-North derailment had sleep disorder: NTSB

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Human error or faulty equipment? NTSB continues probe in deadly Metro-North derailment

Aerial footage shows a Metro-North train that derailed in December 2013, killing four people and injuring dozens more. (Photo: PIX11)

NEW YORK (PIX11/AP) — The engineer of a New York commuter train that derailed last year, killing four people, had a serious, undiagnosed sleep disorder, federal investigators said Monday.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board determined that William Rockefeller suffered from severe sleep apnea, but stopped short of saying whether the engineer’s disorder contributed to the crash.

Sleep apnea involves pauses in breathing or shallow breaths that can last a few seconds to minutes. Because the condition disrupts sleep multiple times a night, it can make sufferers prone to daytime drowsiness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Rockefeller was at the controls when a Metro-North train took a curve near Spuyten Duyvil more than 50 mph over the train’s speed limit. Four people were killed and dozens more were hurt.

Prior to the crash, Rockefeller had a spotless record with the MTA.


  • jim enis

    Please help hazmat First Responders ask DOT to consider adding secondary containment to rail tank cars that are used for transporting liquefied chlorine gas.

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