The engineer on the Amtrak train that derailed south of Tacoma this past month, killing three people and injuring dozens, said he didn’t see or didn’t recognize the signposts and signals indicating a drastic drop in the speed limit, a new report from federal investigators says. It was the engineer’s second time operating a train in that direction on a newly opened stretch of track, known as the Point Defiance Bypass.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) interviewed the 55-year-old engineer this past week, about a month after the deadly crash. Both the engineer and a qualifying conductor, who was in the locomotive to familiarize himself with the new track, suffered serious injuries, which delayed their interviews, the NTSB said. The train was going nearly 80 mph when it derailed on a curve where the speed limit was 30 mph. It crashed onto Interstate 5 on Dec. 18, closing the southbound freeway for most of three days, wreaking traffic havoc across the region.