Spanish train driver cannot explain why

Image - bullfighting: David Pineda Svenske/shutterstock

The transcript of Francisco Jose Garzon Amo’s interrogation has finally been made public. He does not know what to tell the authority’s moments before the train crash in Galicia.

Allegedly, when he was questioned before the train’s “black boxes” were opened, he was insistent that he would have of course tried to stop the train. He has not yet been formally charged with killing the 79 passengers.

Mr Garzon Amo has reportedly suffered broken ribs and a head injury which is seen in what has now become an infamous photo of the train crash. It is said that he has told the prosecutor Antonio Roma that he had not touched any alcohol before stepping behind the wheel of the train, he had only drank coffee.

The document that he was checking was on his iPad tablet as it contains an electronic version of the order book and route. Many would believe that he may have been checking his facebook page or personal email but he is adamant that he was not.

Supposedly he was asked in a friendly tone what he was thinking before he entered the second tunnel by Mr Roma which is the tunnel before the bend where the crash took place.

Mr Garzon did not know how to respond, “I do not know, if only I did… the scourge I will carry for life is tremendous.”

He was asked to think back to that moment, and with his next response he said: “I tell you honestly that I do not know. I’m not so crazy as not to brake.”

He admits that even though he had all types of brakes activated, he knew they were not going to make it.

He was asked if he thought there was a problem with the train or even the track, and after repeating the word “no” three times, added that it was him who should have gone at the correct speed – 80 kilometres per hour. He claims not to remember being on the phone to the staff at the Renfe Company but luckily the black box records everything that goes on.

Mr Garzon expresses confusion as his interrogation goes on. It is almost like he cannot believe his own conduct. He explains that four kilometres ahead of these tunnels before the bends, he would start braking so that it would be smoother but also he admits that his speed was between 180 and 190 kilometres per hour and this he could not explain.

The judge replied to Mr Garzon saying “It would be one thing if this took place in an instant, but you went for 4km at a speed much higher than you normally would”.

“Four kilometres at 200 kilometres per hour goes very quickly,” Mr Garzon stated.

Even though he has been released on bail, Mr Garzon remains under court supervision and is not allowed to leave Spain without permission. 

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