NTSB: Engineer sped multiple times in week leading up to Metro-North accident

Tests show an engineer broke the speed limit multiple times in the week before a deadly Metro-North derailment in the Bronx, a federal agency says.

The National Transportation Safety Board released charts indicating that engineer William Rockefeller sped on four of the six runs tested, including going 24 miles per hour over the speed limit at one point.

Rockefeller was at the helm of the train that derailed in Spuyten Duyvil in December.

It was heading into a 30 mile per hour curve at 82 miles per hour.

Four people were killed in the accident, and more than 70 injured.

The agency has not yet determined a cause for the derailment, but reported earlier that Rockefeller suffered from sleep apnea and said he felt "dazed" right before the crash.

Rockefeller's lawyer, Jeffrey Chartier, said, "There's more information than these tidbits that have been released and I will comment at the appropriate time."

The speed charts were among dozens of documents involving several accidents that the NTSB released Friday.

A report on the condition of the train after the derailment found that blood stained the seats, floors and doors. The cars were littered with dirt, rocks and even tree branches and lost almost all their windows on one side.

A New York City police detective who entered one of the damaged cars right after the accident told the NTSB, "There was people's personal items and there was people laying around. ... There was not one window left on the train."

Another document listed the crews' cellphone calls and texts and appeared to confirm that the engineer and conductors were not using phones at the time of the crash.

In a document relating to an accident in March, a Metro-North engineer told investigators that an electrician who was struck and killed by a train while working on tracks in Manhattan never looked up despite the blast of the train's horn.

William Maher said he was coming out of a tunnel when he noticed three workers too close to the track. He said two got out of the way, but one, later identified as James Romansoff, 58, leaned or fell into the train's path.

Maher also told investigators that track workers used to stop what they were doing when a train passed, acknowledge the engineer, and go back to work once the train has passed. He said most workers now continue what they are doing without ever looking up.

"To me," he said. "That's a little discomforting."

The other two workers on the tracks that night told investigators they were informed the track they were working on was out of service and were surprised when the train switched from another track.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)
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