Metro-North Engineer Falls Asleep on Derailment Switch


William Rockefeller, 49, a Metro-North engineer fell asleep while operating a train, leading the train to derail that eventually cost the lives of four people, injuring 63, as well as earning him a permanent and fixed pension for disability of $3,200.

Rockefeller had operated the train at a speed that reached about 82 mph along the Spuyten Duyvil waterway. The maximum speed limit on this track is 30 mph.

Several other train cars that were scheduled to reach the Grand Central Terminal had abandoned the track line, overturning upon witnessing the derailment of the oncoming train operated by Rockefeller.

Rockefeller Deemed Eligible for Pension

The Pension Disability Medical Review Board announced upon hearing of this matter that Rockefeller is eligible now for receiving a lifetime pension due to his ‘disability’ at this point in being able to continue as operating as an engineer.

As of now, the railroad has spent roughly $31.9 million to cover up all the legal costs, along with reimbursing those who had been injured from the accident, those who had boarded the train, and for the family members of those who have died as well.

Rockefeller’s Disability

Rockefeller expressed his extreme frustration towards Metro-North, suing them for a budget of $10 million, claiming they had failed to keep the trains up to date regarding safety protocols and measures, adding that if they had installed a positive train control, then even if he had fallen asleep, the train would have still abided by a specific speed limit before it reached the turn.

Rockefeller allegedly has a case of sleep apnea, which remains to be undiagnosed and examined, yet completely apparent as of now.

Maria Herbert, who was on board the train, stated that she has no resentments against Rockefeller, as sleep apnea is something people don’t usually realize or are aware they even may have.