On the morning of December 1, 2013, a Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line passenger train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the New York City borough of the Bronx. Four of about 115 passengers were killed and another 61 injured; the accident caused $9 million worth of damage. It was the deadliest train accident within New York City since a 1991 subway derailment in lower Manhattan, and the first accident in Metro-North's history to result in passenger fatalities.
Early investigations found that the train had gone into the curve where it derailed at almost three times the posted speed limit. The engineer, William Rockefeller, later admitted that before reaching the curve he had gone into a "daze", a sort of highway hypnosis. He has since been suspended without pay; prosecutors are considering bringing criminal charges and claims have already been filed against him, Metro-North and the MTA.
The leader of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team investigating said it was likely that the accident would have been prevented had positive train control (PTC) been installed. A prior federal mandate requires installation of the system by 2015. Due to a number of other recent accidents involving Metro-North trains and tracks, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) demanded improved safety measures, which Metro-North began implementing within a week of the accident.
In late 2014, almost a year after the accident, the NTSB released its final report on the accident. After reiterating its earlier conclusion that PTC would have prevented the accident entirely, it found the most direct cause was Rockefeller's inattention as the train entered the curve. There were other contributing factors. A medical examination following the accident diagnosed sleep apnea, which had hampered his ability to fully adjust his sleep patterns to the morning shift which he had begun working two weeks earlier. The report faulted both Metro-North for not screening its employees in sensitive positions for sleep disorders, and the FRA for not requiring railroads do such screening.