Brandon Bostian, 32, was "very distraught" to learn of the loss of life in Tuesday evening's derailment

By Tara Fowler
Updated May 14, 2015 11:45 AM
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Credit: LinkedIn; Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Brandon Bostian, the 32-year-old engineer from New York who was at the helm of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia, has no memory of the incident.

Thus far, Tuesday’s horrific accident has claimed the lives of eight people and injured at least 200 more. In a press conference on Thursday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said officials believe that they have accounted for all 243 individuals on Amtrak train 188.

Officials say the train was traveling at more than 100 mph, over twice the speed limit, when it jumped the tracks on a particularly sharp curve as it headed from Washington, D.C., to New York.

An attorney for Bostian told ABC News that his client only recalls generally driving the train prior to the fatal crash. He added that Bostian was “very distraught” to learn of the loss of life. He also voluntarily turned over his cell phone and gave a blood sample.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet met with the engineer, but has said that it plans to. “This person has gone through a very traumatic event and we want to give him the opportunity to convalesce for a day or so before we interview him,” NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said. Bostian was taken to the hospital and received 14 staples on his head.

The NTSB also said that he applied full emergency brakes “just moments” before the train derailed.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Bostian, a University of Missouri grad, has been an Amtrak engineer since 2010, and was a conductor for Amtrak for four years before that.

On Thursday, Laura Finamore, a New York real estate executive, was the latest victim to be confirmed among the eight dead. Finamore, 47, grew up in Douglaston, Queens, and was the managing director for the real estate brokerage firm, Cushman & Wakefield.

“Laura was an incredibly loving and giving person, touching many people each and every day through her generous spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion for others,” her family said in a statement. “She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.”

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Also confirmed dead are Rachel Jacobs, a mother and CEO of ApprenNet; Justin Zemser, a Navy midshipman traveling home to visit his mother; Jim Gaines, a software architect and father of two; Abid Gilani, a senior vice president with Wells Fargo’ Commercial Real Estate Division; Dr. Derrick Griffith, a dean at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn; Giuseppe Piras, an Italian national visiting the U.S. on business; and Bob Gildersleeve, an executive at Ecolab (a St. Paul, Minnesota-based chemical company) who lived in Maryland.

“We are heartbroken by what we’ve experienced here,” Mayor Nutter told CNN. “We have not experienced anything like this in modern times.”