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TRAGEDY IN GALICIA

"I can’t go any faster or they’ll give me a fine," driver wrote on Facebook

Francisco José Garzón Amo, who has tested negative for alcohol, made comments last year

The train driver Francisco José Garzón Amo, who was in charge of the train that crashed in Santiago de Compostela on Wednesday, was not found to have alcohol in his system, sources from train company Renfe have told EL PAÍS.

Garzón, who has been called to appear before a judge in connection with the tragic accident, has spent 30 of his 52 years working as a train driver. Originally from Monforte de Lemos (Lugo) and resident in A Coruña, he spent the last year driving trains along the route where the accident took place.

Conversación entre el maquinista y sus contactos de Facebook. ampliar foto
Conversación entre el maquinista y sus contactos de Facebook.

On Wednesday, he relieved a colleague from the controls of the train in Ourense. Just 100 kilometers later, the tragedy happened. The exact causes of the accident are still not clear, although a video published on YouTube from a railway security camera suggests that excessive speed may have been to blame.

The Facebook profile of Garzón was deleted in the early hours of the morning. However, as soon as his identity became known, journalists and members of the public began to peruse it for information. Among Garzón’s posts on the social networking site was a photo, uploaded on March 8, 2012 by Garzón, featuring a speedometer with the needle at 200km/h.

Underneath the photo, some of Garzón’s contacts had left comments. “Dude, you’re going full speed, braaaaake” read one of the posts, to which Garzón answered: “I’m right on the limit, I can’t go any faster or they’ll give me a fine.” After another comment reading, “Christ, you’re doing 200km/h,” Garzón joked that the speedometer “has not been tampered with.”

Another of Garzón’s contacts then posted a message saying: “If the Civil Guard catches you, you’ll lose all your points, hehe,” in reference to the Spanish vehicle driving license, which works on a points basis. Garzón then replies, in block capitals: “IMAGINE WHAT A RUSH IT WOULD BE TRAVELING ALONGSIDE THE CIVIL GUARD, AND PASSING THEM SO THAT THEIR SPEED TRAPS GO OFF. HEHE, THAT WOULD BE QUITE A FINE FOR RENFE, HEHE.”