Train Engineer With Sleep Apnea Who Caused Fatal Crash Gets His Job Back
By Bill Galluccio
September 12, 2019
The engineer who was responsible for crashing his train into a terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey in September 2016 is getting his job back after winning an appeal. Thomas Gallagher blacked out at the controls of the train as it headed into the station.
Instead of slowing down, the train accelerated to 21 MPH, double the posted speed limit, and crashed into a concrete barrier at the end of the track. The crash killed one woman, injured 108 other people, and caused extensive damage to the busy train station.
Investigators determined that Gallagher had sleep apnea, though he had not been diagnosed with the condition at the time of the fatal crash. Gallagher was fired but filed an appeal over his termination claiming that he passed all his required medical tests and he should not have lost his job due to his undiagnosed medical condition.
When he returns to work, he will not be driving trains with passengers in them and will be required to continue his sleep apnea treatment.
“The decision lays out rigorous testing and compliance that Mr. Gallagher must adhere to including training and re-certification for operating a locomotive as well as strict medical oversight,” said Nancy Snyder, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit.
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