The engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a speeding train that crashed and killed four passengershas been awarded lifetime disability pension.
Prosecutors had declined to prosecute William Rockefeller, 49, who reportedly suffers from sleep apnea that caused him to fall asleep while driving the Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx on Dec. 1, 2013, killing four and injuring dozens.
Rockefeller will receive $3,200 a month for life from Metro-North Railroad company, several news media reported, which is in addition to his federal railroad retirement pension of an undisclosed amount.
Rockefeller’s Manhattan-bound train was going 82 mph in a 30-mph zone near Spuyten-Duyvil along the edge of the Hudson River when it crashed.
Henow suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, rendering him unable to work, his railroad unionstated in September.
“It feels like I want to climb out of my skin,” Rockefellertold ABC7.”It’s horrifying to me. It’s horrifying to me. I just wish it never happened. I’m sorry for it happening. I’m sorry for ev-, I just see the faces. I can’t stop seeing the faces. I’m just haunted by those faces.”
The ruling on Rockefeller’s pension came after an appeal to the Pension Disability Medical Review Board of the MTA.
“The Pension Disability Medical Review Board reviewed the appeal and determined that Mr. Rockefeller is disabled from performing his function as an engineer and he is eligible now to receive his pension,” ABC News reported the MTA saying.
Three weeks ago Rockefeller filed a $10 million federal lawsuit against Metro-North, claiming the railroad was to blame for the accident because a mechanism that could have prevented the crash was not installed.