The engineer of a passenger train that rammed into a New Jersey rail terminal last Thursday said he has no memory of the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Sunday. The accident left a woman dead and over 100 people injured.
Thomas Gallagher, the train's engineer, told investigators that the train was traveling at just 10 miles per hour as it neared the Hoboken Terminal. He said that he only remembers waking up on the cab’s floor, according to NTSB vice chair T. Bella Dinh-Zarr.
Gallagher told officials that he checked the brakes and found them to be fine. The train also operated without any issues and the visibility was clear, he reportedly said.
Meanwhile, an event data recorder, which was supposed to collect information on the train’s speed and braking, was recovered but it turned out that it wasn't functioning. A second data recorder beneath a collapsed part of the train station’s roof has not been recovered yet.
“It’s likely that it’s a newer event data recorder in the lead passenger car, the controlling car, so we're hopeful that will have information that will be functioning,” Dinh-Zarr reportedly said. “We’ll just hope that the front event data recorder was working.”
The train reportedly did not have Positive Train Control, a safety system that may have averted the crash by automatically slowing the train’s speed.
New Jersey Transit trains have been involved in more than 160 accidents since 2011 resulting in over $4.8 million in damages to tracks and equipment. Furthermore, NJ Transit has paid more than $500,000 to settle 183 safety violations, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration.