"The Metro-North Railroad train that hurtled off the rails on a sleepy holiday weekend morning was traveling 82 miles per hour as it approached one of the sharpest curves in the region’s rail system, federal investigators said on Monday — nearly three times the speed permitted through the turn," reports The New York Times.
The story continues, "The throttle was still engaged — giving the engine power — until six seconds before the locomotive, in the rear of the train, came to a stop around 7:20 a.m. Sunday after the train careered toward the Harlem River, killing four people and injuring more than 70, north of Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx, officials said."
As previously reported, one of those killed in the accident was James Lovell, 58, who had worked at the "Today" show for more than 20 years.
The Times story adds, "The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation, and a board member, Earl Weener, said the train’s sudden power shift came ‘very late in the game.’ The board cautioned that it remained unclear if the speed was the result of human error or faulty equipment."
The Times article also says: "Asked if the safety board was looking into the possibility that the engineer, William Rockefeller, fell asleep, was using his cellphone or was otherwise distracted, a spokesman for the board, Keith Holloway, said, ‘Part of our investigation, as in all investigations, is to look at human performance factors.’”