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Spain Train Driver Got 3 Warnings to Slow Down

By the time he finally heeded the message, it was too late
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2013 12:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – It just keeps getting worse for the loves-to-speed train driver in Spain's deadly crash. Investigators say he got not one, not two, but three automated warnings to slow down before his train went off the rails, reports AP. The first came about two minutes before the crash as he approached a reduced speed zone, and the last came some 250 yards ahead of the curve that the train failed to navigate, according to black box data. By the time Francisco Jose Garzon Amo hit the emergency brakes, it was way too late.

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Garzon, who was on the phone with a colleague at the time of the crash, is charged with negligent homicide in the accident that killed 79 people. A court statement today clarified the train's speeds: It was traveling 121mph in a 50mph zone when Garzon hit the brakes, and it derailed at 111mph. The judge said the accident "seems to have been caused, no doubt, by the driver's inappropriate and unpredictable driving." (Read more train crash stories.)

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