Engineer in Deadly Amtrak Derailment Lives in NYC

UPDATE: Amtrak Engineer Has "Absolutely No Recollection" of Crash: Lawyer

The engineer at the helm of an Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia while traveling at 106 miles per hour along a sharp curve where the speed limit is 50 mph, killing seven people and injuring more than 200, has been identified as Brandon Bostian of Queens, New York. 

NBC News confirmed the engineer's identity Wednesday afternoon. The NTSB said earlier that the engineer slammed on the emergency brake moments before the train hurled off the tracks. That only managed to slow the train to 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording data. 

The speed limit just before the curve is 80 mph, according to NTSB's Robert Sumwalt. 

Sumwalt said investigators hope to speak to Bostian but want to give him a day or two to recover from the "traumatic event." 

NBC Philadelphia reported Wednesday that the 32-year-old Bostian handed over his cellphone to Philadelphia Police East detectives and gave a blood sample. He spoke with police investigators earlier in the day and is expected to speak with them again in the future, the news station reported. 

Bostian lives in the Forest Hills section of Queens, according to social media profiles, public records, friends and neighbors. 

A friend who knows him in New York City told MSNBC that Bostian is a "cheerful guy" and a rail buff. The acquaintance, who did not want to be identified, said he last saw Bostian two weeks ago and talked about trains with him. 

He added that Bostian loves his job, saying, "We didn't meet because of trains, but bonded because we both are fans. The notion that he made it, so to speak, driving trains is of no surprise to me." 

The young engineer got a job with Amtrak right out of college, according to his LinkedIn profile, first working as a conductor and then an engineer for a total of nine years with Amtrak. 

NBC Bay Area reported that Bostian also worked at Bay Area commuter rail line Caltrain several years ago when the agency contracted with Amtrak. It's not clear what job he held there. 

The superintendent of the Forest Hills building where Bostian has lived alone for two and a half years said he's a "really nice person." 

"Nice person, always said, 'Hello, Jose, how are you?'" said Jose Quinones. "Nice, very quiet."

Quinones' wife, Zuma Quinones, said she didn't know Bostian was an engineer and was stunned by the news. She said he was friendly.

She said if he returned home, she would tell Bostian: "Welcome, you're home. Thank God." 

Bostian is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, according to his social media profiles, and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

At least three of the seven people killed on Amtrak Regional 188, which was going from Washington, D.C. to New York's Penn Station, have been identified as New York City or New Jersey residents. There were 238 passengers and five crew members on board. 

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