Conductor Of Spanish Train That Derailed And Killed 79 People Was Speeding, On The Phone At Time Of Crash

trainAn injured man, identified by Spanish newspapers El Pais and El Mundo as the train driver Francisco Jose Garzon, is helped by a policeman after a train crashed near Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 24, 2013. Garzon, the driver of the Spanish train that derailed, killing at least 80 people, was under police guard in hospital on Thursday after the dramatic accident which an official source said was caused by excessive speed. Picture taken July 24, 2013.

Black box data reveals that the conductor of the Spanish train that derailed and killed 79 people last week was on the phone and travelling at almost twice the speed limit when the train ran off the tracks.

Francisco Jose Garzon Amo is suspected of negligent homicide and apparently admitted after the crash that he screwed up.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that at the time of the derailment, he was on the phone with rail company staff, who were telling him which route to follow to the train’s destination. While he was on the phone, he might have also been looking at a map on paper, according to El Pais.

The speed limit in the area the train was travelling through is 50 mph, but a Spanish court says the train was travelling at 119 mph at some point before it went off the tracks and 95 mph when it derailed.

Garzon apparently braked right before the crash.

Facebook posts from Garzon’s account apparently show him bragging about how fast he could go. One post contains an image of a speedometer with the caption: What joy it would be to get level with the police and then go past them making their speed guns go off. Ha ha!”

More than 100 people were injured in the crash in northwest Spain, and many are still in the hospital receiving treatment.

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