Tests performed along the Hudson River route of the Metro-North train
that derailed Sunday showed no problems with the brakes before the
high-speed crash on a sharp curve, the National Transportation Safety
Board said Tuesday.
The train's data recorders showed that normal
testing of the brakes at stations and en route indicated "no anomalies,"
NTSB member Earl Weener said at a late-afternoon briefing.
"There's no indication that the brake systems were not functioning normally," he said.
noted that the automatic systems known as positive train control,
"possibly could have prevented" the accident, which killed four and
injured 63. Data recorders showed the train was traveling 82 mph heading
into a 30-mph curve in the Bronx just seconds before the derailment.
Weener also announced that alcohol tests of the engineer, William Rockefeller, and the other crew members were negative.
Tuesday afternoon were interviewing 46-year-old Rockefeller, who Weener
said had been a Metro-North engineer for 10 years. He began driving the
Hudson Line full time on Nov. 17.
Rockefeller was in the second
day of a routine five-day schedule, and he "would have had time for full
restorative sleep" from his usual nine-hour shift the day before,
Weener said. Rockefeller reported for work at 5:04 a.m. Sunday; the
accident happened at 7:20 a.m.
STORY: Train was going 82 mph into curve before crash
STORY: NTSB already was investigating Metro-North
media reported earlier Tuesday that investigators believe Rockefeller
may have been distracted or possibly asleep before the crash.
Investigators have not yet looked at data from his cell phone to determine if it played a role.
is "distraught over loss of life," so his interview Monday with
investigators was cut short, Anthony Bottalico, of the Association of
Commuter Rail Employees, told The Journal News of Westchester. "He hasn't slept."
has been swarmed by reporters since he was released from the hospital
and has been forced to leave his home in Germantown, N.Y., Bottalico
said, declining to say where he is staying.
Bottalico also declined to comment on the preliminary findings regarding the train's speed.
media were reporting Tuesday that investigators believe Rockefeller may
have been distracted or possibly asleep before the crash.