Amtrak crash survivor Robert Hewett embraces his daughter Emily as his wife Judy, right, looks on after a news conference, May 12, 2016, in Philadelphia. Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the fatal derailment.
Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Philly train crash likely caused by distracted engineer: sources


The engineer of the Amtrak train that ran off the rails outside Philadelphia in May 2015, killing eight people, was likely distracted by radio dispatches, a source close to the investigation told NBC News on Monday.

The engineer at the controls of the Amtrak 188 told investigators in February that he could barely recall the moments leading up the nighttime crash. Instead, he claimed to have a “dream-like” memory of his locomotive going too fast around a curve, and hitting the brakes as he realized the train was going to tip over.

Another train’s engineer had reported that his windshield had been hit by something — possibly a gunshot.

Investigators a year ago theorized that engineer Brandon Bostian was distracted by those reports, may have also been hit by a rock at about the the same time, lost situational awareness and failed to slow his train.

Eight people were killed and 200 were injured when the train derailed.

The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to consider its final report. It’s possible the probable cause could change somewhat before the meeting ends.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates. 

This article first appeared on