Data recorder from N.J. train crash not functioning; engineer says he does not remember

HOBOKEN, N.J., Oct. 3 (UPI) — One of the data recorders recovered from last week’s New Jersey Transit train crash in Hoboken was not working on the day of the crash while the train’s engineer said he can not remember the incident, authorities said.

National Transportation Safety Board vice chair T. Bella Dinh-Zarr on Sunday said she hopes the other data recorder inside the cab control car is still functional. Authorities have not been able to recover the additional data recorder because that part of the train is still considered too dangerous to enter due to debris and structural damage at the train station crash site.

The data recorder would provide details such as train speeds and brake and horn usage. Officials on Sunday said the train station’s signals were working properly the day of the crash.

Thomas Gallagher, 48, the engineer operating the train before the crash that killed one and injured more than 100, told authorities he does not remember the crash and that he believed he entered the train station at a speed of 10 mph, Dinh-Zarr said during a press conference. Gallagher told investigators he remembers the train was running six minutes late.

One law enforcement official told NBC New York preliminary tests indicate Gallagher was likely not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not determined the cause of Thursday’s crash of Pascack Valley Line train No. 1614.

New Jersey Transit was under federal audit before the fatal crash occurred over concerns about safety violations.

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