MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The engineer operating the NJ TRANSIT train involved in Thursday’s deadly crash has been identified.
CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reports that sources have identified the engineer as 48-year-old Thomas Gallagher of Morris Plains, New Jersey. According to CBS2’s Tony Aiello, Gallagher has been an employee at NJ TRANSIT for 19 years, with ten years experience as an engineer.
Sources said Gallagher was driving the train at the time of the crash. Before the crash, Gallagher had an excellent reputation and work record.
Gallagher was pulled from the badly mangled first car of the train and was taken to the hospital in critical condition, but was released.
Gallagher is cooperating with authorities.
He is currently not at his Morris Plains home and a police officer is parked out in front of the home, but family members have been in and out.
Neighbors were shocked to hear he was involved in the crash.
“I think Tom might have wanted to be a train engineer when he was quite young and he went to college and then he still wanted to be a train engineer and loves his job,” Penny Jones said. “We’re just so sad, so sad, because they’re just wonderful people. I want everyone to know that, they’re a wonderful family.”
Witnesses on board said the train didn’t slow down when it approached the station. The speed limit going into the station is 10 miles per hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be interviewing Gallagher soon to get a better idea of how the crash happened.
One person died in the crash and 114 others were injured.