Two days ago on May 12, 2015, an Amtrak Northeast Regional commuter train derailed 11 minutes after leaving the Philadelphia, Penn. station, killing at least 7 and injuring 200 others. It is America’s deadliest train accident in nearly 7 years.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Robert Sumwalt told reporters yesterday that seconds before the crash, the train had been traveling at more than twice the legal speed limit, at 106 mph, as it entered a sharp curve at Frankford Junction.
WTXF reported that the train’s engineer has been identified as 32-year-old Brandon Bostian. Police sources told WTXF Bostian was taken to a local hospital after the crash and blood samples were taken from him in accordance with standard procedure. Bostian asked for a lawyer and told city investigators he didn’t remember what happened.
Sumwalt said federal accident investigators want to talk to Bostian but will give him a day or two to recover from the shock of the accident: “This person has gone through a very traumatic event, and we want to give him an opportunity to convalesce for a day or so before we interview him. But that is certainly a high priority for us, to interview the train crew.”
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said it was too early to determine whether to pursue a criminal investigation, explaining that many details of Tuesday deadly crash have yet to come out. Both the train’s “black box” data recorder and a video camera in its front end could yield clues to what happened.
Amtrak had inspected the stretch of track just hours before the accident, and found no defects, the Federal Railroad Administration said.
Dave Levine, of the Dave Levine (radio talk) Show, writes on his blog:
This story doesn’t make any sense. The train’s engineer-driver was injured and survived the derailment. The media has been avoiding mentioning him and doing investigative work to find out about the man…until this afternoon.
Is he an Islamist? Was he drunk? Did he pass out at the wheel? Was he on drugs? Did he simply fall asleep? Was he texting his boyfriend at the time of the crash? What the hell was it going 106 mph?
One thing we do know–he refused to answer police questions and got “lawyered up” right away. His name is Brandon Bostian, 32 of Queens, NY.
Brandon Bostian has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/brandon.bostian. Columnist/blogger Don Hank found that Bostian had removed a photo of himself from Facebook at 01:39 on May 13, just a few hours after the crash.
From the “Likes” on Bostian’s Facebook page, however, my guess is that Brandon Bostian is a homosexual, not a Muslim. His “Likes” include:
- Rethink Church
- The Rock Campus Church
- Out Professionals
- Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center
- The Outs
Here’s a screenshot I took of his “Likes” page, with the date and time when I took it in the lower right, in case Bostian takes down his Facebook page entirely.
↓ Click to enlarge! ↓
CNN has a picture of Brandon Bostian:
Writing for CNN, May 14, 2015, Holly Yan says this is what we know about Brandon Bostian:
- He has been an Amtrak engineer since 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he was an Amtrak conductor for four years.
- He graduated from the University of Missouri in 2006 with a degree in business administration and management.
- He now lives in Queens, NY.
- Bostian’s attorney, Robert Goggin, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that his client “was beat up” in the crash. “He has 15 staples in his head, stitches in one leg, the other knee is immobilized.”
- Goggin said Bostian suffered a concussion and doesn’t remember why the train was going so fast, “I believe as a result of the concussion, he has absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the events. I’m told that his memory is likely to return as the concussion symptoms subside.” Bostian’s last memory before the crash was trying to slow down before the curve.
- Neighbor Moresh Koya described Bostian as a responsible, nice guy who enjoyed his job: “He liked it. He was happy working there.”
H/t Don Hank