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New York train operator fell asleep

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A union official stated that the train engineer at the controls of the New York train that derailed Sunday fell asleep reports FoxsNews on December 3, 2013.

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William Rockefeller, the engineer of Train No. 8808, "caught himself, but he caught himself too late," said Anthony Bottalico, leader of the rail employees union, relating what he said Rockefeller told him.

Rockefeller was awakened after a warning whistle sounded alerting him that the train’s speed was too fast.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that nothing indicates that the signals or brakes systems failed.

Rockefeller had seven years experience as a Metro-North engineer but recently began driving the early shift.

"He's qualified for the Hudson [line]. He liked working on the Hudson. He chose the Hudson," the spokesperson said referring to a recent timetable change on Nov. 17 where new assignments are determined through seniority.

Rockefeller was on his second day of a five-day workweek and had ample time to rest states NTSB member, Earl Weener.

"There's every indication he would have been able to get full, restorative sleep," Weener said.

Weener also stated that drug and alcohol tests on Rockefeller and three assistant conductors were negative.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

"It's too early to tell exactly what happened at this point," Weener said.


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