What We Know About the Engineer of the Crashed NJ Transit Train

He's a married father who has worked for NJ Transit for nearly three decades.

ByABC News
September 30, 2016, 11:06 AM

— -- Thomas Gallagher, the man at the controls of the NJ Transit train that plowed into a station Thursday, is a married father and veteran engineer who has worked in the rail industry for almost three decades, officials said.

Authorities said Gallagher, 48, is cooperating with investigators after Thursday’s rush-hour crash in which the commuter train, traveling at high speed, slammed through barriers and into an interior wall at Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others.

Gallagher was treated for minor injuries and released. A blood test on him at the hospital was negative for alcohol and drugs, a law enforcement official told ABC News. The testing was conducted as a routine part of the investigation as officials examine a number of factors that could have led to the crash, such as the condition of the train track and whether Gallagher was fatigued.

Gallagher, who with his wife and teenage daughters lives in suburban Morris County, New Jersey, has been employed by NJ Transit for 29 years, according to a spokeswoman for the National Transportation Board Safety. A union roster shows he has worked there as an engineer for 18 years, according to The Associated Press.

According to what appears to be his LinkedIn page, Gallagher attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, from 1986 to 1990. He listed his profession on LinkedIn as “loco engineer” for NJ Transit, using the abbreviation for locomotive.

    The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Thursday’s deadly crash along with the Federal Railway Administration. As is standard procedure, investigators will be looking into all possible causes of the crash. However, a senior official briefed on the crash told ABC News that they do not suspect sabotage or foul play.

    The NTSB has not yet interviewed the engineer, though they have requested to do so, along with other crew members, the agency told ABC News today.

    According to The Associated Press, police escorted a woman into Gallagher’s home in the town of Morris Plains, New Jersey, on Thursday afternoon while patrol vehicles guarded the residence. Neighbor Penny Jones was shocked to learn of the crash and described Gallagher and his family as good people.

    "It was very shocking," Jones told AP. "I'm just heartbroken for them; they're just wonderful people."

    ABC News’ Mark Crudele, Whitney Lloyd, Josh Margolin and Troy McMullen contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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