The lawyer representing the engineer at the controls of Amtrak Train 188 says his client has no recollection of the crash that has left at least seven passengers dead, more than 200 people injured and about a dozen others unaccounted for.
Robert Goggin III, a Center City lawyer, told ABC-TV's Nightline program, that engineer Brandon Bostian was interviewed for six hours by Philadelphia police detectives after the derailment Tuesday night at Frankford Junction.
"He remembers driving the train. He remembers going through that area generally, has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual," Goggin said. "The next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cellphone and dialing 911."
NTSB investigators have said the train was traveling at 106 m.p.h. - above the permitted speed limit - when the engineer hit the emergency brake as the train entered the Frankford Junction curve, where the speed limit is 50 m.p.h.
The engine and all seven passenger cars derailed into a snaking wreck.
In an interview on ABC'S Good Morning America Thursday, Goggin said Bostian suffered a concussion in the derailment and received six staples for a head wound.
"He does not remember deploying the emergency brake," Goggin said.
He described the engineer as "distraught" after seeing the devastation.
Goggin said Bostian cooperated "fully" with police and that his memory is expected to improve as he recovers from the concussion.
Seven people are confirmed dead so far and officials are continuing to search the crash scene for as many as a dozen people who are unaccounted for.
NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt said among the operator issues investigators will look at are cellphone use, other distractions, sleep apnea or health issue. He noted that undiagnosed sleep apnea was blamed in an 2013 MetroNorth train crash that killed four in the Bronx.
Asked about cellphone use on Good Morning America, Goggin indicated that was not a factor since Bostian told him his cellphone was in a bag.
Mayor Nutter said Wednesday evening that the engineer spoke with police but he has no idea as to what he told them.
According to his LinkedIn page, Bostian, 32, who lives in Queens, N.Y., has worked as an Amtrak engineer since December 2010. He moved up to that job after working as an Amtrak conductor for the previous 41/2 years. He attended business school at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Editor's Note: This story was corrected to fix the location of the fatal 2013 MetroNorth crash. It was in the Bronx, not outside New York City.