THOMAS “TOMMY” GALLAGHER AND WIFE.
The train engineer who was behind the controls of the train that crashed in Hoboken, New Jersey, has been identified as a 48 year old white male, Thomas Gallagher.
Gallagher has worked in the industry for 19 years. He has no criminal history and no known medical issues that might have contributed to the crash. Drug tests show no forbidden substances were in his body at the time of the crash.
He is said to be cooperating fully with the investigation into the cause of the crash.
Excerpt from Heavy.com
The engineer of the New Jersey Transit train that crashed into the Hoboken station Thursday morning during rush hour, killing a woman, injuring more than 100 other commuters and heavily damaging the train and building, was among those critically injured.
Thomas “Tommy” Gallagher, 48, was identified by WABC-TV as the engineer.
He was found slumped over the controls of the train after the crash, the Associated Press reports.
Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken, has been identified as the woman killed in the crash. At least two others remain in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, officials say.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Here’s what you need to know:
Tommy Gallagher, of Morris Plains, New Jersey, was hospitalized in critical condition after the crash, WABC-TV reports.
A passenger said he was “completely bloodied,” when he was taken out of the train, according to the New York Daily News.
But he had been released from the hospital by Thursday night, ABC reporter Josh Margolin reports.
He is cooperating with authorities as they investigate what caused the train to crash into the station. He has not yet commented publicly about what happened.
The NTSB said they have not yet interviewed him.
Sources told NBC News that Gallagher does not have a history of infractions. He also does not have a history of medical issues or any criminal record, the news network reports.
There were no “red flags” about Gallagher, NBC New York reports.
Gallagher’s father told the news station his son has worked for NJ Transit for 19 years and has also served as a station master, a part-time track worker and an accident investigator.
“We’re very upset with this whole matter,” Gallagher’s father said.
He said his son is healthy and is a dedicated worker who does not call in sick.
According to his Linkedin profile, Gallagher is a loco engineer. He graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1990.
Gallagher is married and has two daughters. They left their home with a police escort Thursday evening, WABC-TV reports.
“Just a fine, fine family. Great next door neighbors, wonderful kids, very caring people about others. It’s just tragic, in terms of what they’re going through, or what they’re going to be going through. But just very nice, and when I heard it, or actually saw you come up, and heard that was the case, I could not believe it,” Tom Jones, the engineer’s neighbor, told the news station.
It would appear that the public safety was in good hands with Tommy behind the controls.
So what made the train crash? I can think of two basic reasons. One would be a mechanical failure of some kind. The train’s brakes may have failed due to poor maintenance or sabotage.
The second reason would involve a lapse in judgment by Tommy. He may have been distracted by something or simply acted carelessly. Alternatively, he might have had a dizzy spell, heart attack, or other medical problem.
Heavy reports that the train was not equipped with a safety device that slows or stops trains when they are going too fast. The federal government has mandated that trains carry the safety system by 2018.
The investigation is expected to be completed within a week or ten days.
The one positive takeaway from what we know now is that political correctness, affirmative action, and petty politics seem not to have played a role in this tragedy.