Nightly News   |  July 26, 2013

Spain train driver boasted about high speeds

Francisco Garzon is now under arrest, as the investigation centers on his role in the crash that killed or injured almost everyone on board. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> tonight the investigation into that deadly high speed train crash in spain is now centering on the train's driver who was at the controls and the question, why was the train going so fast into that turn? in fact, too fast to stay on the tracks. the wreck killed at least 78 people on board including one american. nbc's kier simmons is there for us tonight.

>> reporter: the investigation centers on this man -- francisco garzon at the controls when the train hurtled from the tracks killing or injuring almost everyone on board. garcon was injured himself and is now under arrest. he apparently had a fascination with speed. on facebook, he boasted about going fast, even posting a photo of a train speedometer showing the equivalent of 120 miles per hour. crash survivor steven ward of utah recalls seeing the train's speed displayed on a monitor.

>> for most of the trip it said about 100 kilometers per hour which is about 60 miles per hour. right before we crashed, just like 30 seconds before i looked up and it said 194 which is about 130 miles per hour.

>> reporter: the speed limit at that stretch of track is 50 miles per hour. as the investigation continued today, around 80 people were still hospitalized, half of them at this hospital. 30 in critical condition. doctors say three of their patients are children. robert and his wife were injured.

>> i kept talking to her. breathe, breathe. don't stop breathing. we're almost there.

>> reporter: among those killed anna maria cardova of virginia. the twisted wreck kanl has within cleared. a train set out on the same line today, the first since the accident. no one will forget europe's deadliest crash in decades. kier simmons, spain.