An investigation has revealed what caused a commuter train in New Jersey to smash into the bumpers at the end of the track and rip through part of the Hoboken, New Jersey train station across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan: excessive speed.
But how excessive?
A National Transportation Safety Board report, tweeted by CBS New York reporter Tony Aiello, shows that the train accelerated from 8 mph to 21 mph just 38 seconds before it reached the end of the line, which caused it to smash its way through the station with incredible force.
But what caused the train to accelerate?
While the train's cab has a video camera, it points forward. A separate event recorder — like an airplane's blackbox — is what is relied on to record each change in the train's operation. That event recorder shows the throttle being moved to a much higher level less than a minute before impact. But it also shows the train engineer's emergency brakes being manually engaged less than a second before impact — far too late to make a difference.
The train engineer, Thomas Gallagher, says he has no memory of what led up to the crash, according to the New York Times.
That all begs the bigger question of who pushed the throttle forward and who hit the brakes right before impact and whether that was the same person or not. There is no report released of anyone else being in the cab of the locomotive and the only person who died and can't talk to investigators was on the train platform, not on the train itself.
What do you think actually happened?