Engineer in Bronx Train Derailment Apologies for Crash


An engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a Metro North Rail Road train and caused a derailment that killed four people and injured more than five dozen others two years ago apologized Wednesday in his first public interview.

In an interview with WABC, William Rockefeller said that he relives the crash every day.

“I just wish it never happened,” he said. “I’m sorry for it happening … I’m just haunted by those faces.”

Rockefeller was at the helm of the commuter train headed to Grand Central Terminal on Dec. 1, 2013, when it derailed while going around a curve in the Bronx at about 82 mph. The speed limit on the turn was 30 mph. Federal investigators later determined that Rockefeller had nodded off at the controls and was suffering from an undiagnosed sleeping disorder.

Prosecutors later decided not to bring criminal charges against Rockefeller, who remains out of work, saying the incident was non-criminal.

“The day just keeps playing over and over,” Rockefeller said. “Every day it feels like it just happened yesterday. No matter what I do I just can’t shake that feeling.”