Spain Train Crash: Driver Francisco José Garzón Amo Arrested
Francisco José Garzón Amo, the driver of the Spanish train that derailed earlier in the week, leading to the deaths of 78 passengers, was arrested on Thursday. He’s under investigation for recklessness.
Excessive speed seems to be the most likely cause of the fatal accident, which would place the blame on Amo. The driver even reportedly admitted to speeding immediately after the crash to the train operator’s emergency service. “I should’ve been going 80 [49 mph] and I was doing 190 [118 mph],” he said, according to the El Pais newspaper.
Prior to the accident, Amo openly admitted relishing speeding down the tracks. “Imagine what a rush it would be traveling alongside the Civil Guard and passing them so that their speed traps go off,” he wrote on Facebook last year. “Hehe, that would be quite a fine for Renfe [the Spanish rail company he works for], hehe.” He had also posted a picture with the train's speedometer reading 124 mph.
Since investigators have now examined the records from the train’s black box, it’s been reported that the train was travelling at a speed of roughly 120 miles per hour – double the limit on that particular stretch of track. It’s also been reported that Amo had taken over from another driver about 60 miles before the site of the crash, reported The New York Times. While Amo is being considered a suspect, he has not yet be charged with any crimes.
The eight-car train, carrying over 200 passengers, was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol on the coast. Ninety-five of the injured are still being treated in local hospitals, 32 of which remain in serious condition.