YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Metro-North Railroad engineer who was at the controls when a train derailed and left four people dead this past weekend has been suspended without pay.
William Rockefeller was ordered suspended without pay on Wednesday, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
His pay was $100,000 per year. With overtime, he made $145,000 last year, the union said.
Meanwhile, National Transportation Safety Board officials announced that drug and alcohol tests for Rockefeller all came back negative.
The NTSB held interviews with Rockefeller on Wednesday.
The day before, his attorney Jeffrey Chartier accompanied Rockefeller to his interview with investigators and described the account Rockefeller gave.
Chartier said the engineer experienced a nod or “a daze,” almost like road fatigue or the phenomenon sometimes called highway hypnosis. He couldn’t say how long it lasted.
What Rockefeller remembers is “operating the train, coming to a section where the track was still clear — then, all of a sudden, feeling something was wrong and hitting the brakes,” Chartier said. “He felt something was not right, and he hit the brakes.”