Spanish Train Driver On Phone At Time Of Deadly Crash

And going 45 miles over the speed limit, black box recordings reveal.

Spain / Reuters

Francisco José Garzón Amo, the driver of a Spain train that crashed last week, was on the phone at the time of the accident, El Mundo reported Tuesday.

Black box recordings reveal Garzón was talking to officials at Renfe, the train company, in addition to driving about 45 mph over the speed limit. He was going 153 kilometers an hour (95 mph) before attempting to brake; the maximum speed while turning that particular corner is 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph).

Seventy-nine people died in the crash — more than one-third of the train’s passengers. On Sunday, Garzón was provisionally charged with negligent homicide, the Associated Press reported. His license was also withdrawn.

A witness who helped Garzón at the scene of the accident said the driver “told us that he wanted to die … He said he had needed to brake but couldn’t.”

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