Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, a driver who on July 24, 2013 was driving the Alvia train that had an accident on the outskirts of Santiago, leaving 80 dead and 144 injured, has seen how, with a stroke of the pen, he returned to the days after the accident, when all the blame pointed towards he as sole responsible. After eight months of criminal and civil proceedings, the process began yesterday with the documentation and conclusions process and, surprisingly, the prosecutor in the case decided to withdraw the accusation against the other defendant, the former director of Traffic Safety Adiff, Andrés Cortabitarteand attribute all responsibility to the driver.
In justifying his conclusions, the prosecutor in the case, Mario Piñeiro, has indicated this Wednesday that the telephone call from the controller to the train driver is “the direct cause” of the railway accident.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the mobile phone call was an “unfortunate” event that caused the driver to neglect his responsibilities and to be completely “abstracted”, losing control of the train, at the entrance of a curve in which he did not slow down.
“That day he made more than careless use of the telephone,” stressed Piñeiro, who considers that this behavior involves “serious imprudence, without the slightest doubt.”
In this way, the focus is once again on an incorrect circulation speed, since the prosecutor does maintain against the driver the same accusation with which the trial began, that he was driving at 199 km/h in a section close to the dangerous curve of To Grandeira, when he answered a call to the corporate mobile, which does not have a hands-free system, made by the controller, speaking for 100 seconds. By responding, he broke “the minimum rules of attention and professionals that are required of him” and, when he finally reacted, he managed to reduce the speed to 179.38 km / h, but it was insufficient to prevent the train from derailing. According to the prosecutor, he “omitted the slightest attention to his professional duties by remaining attentive to the content of an inconsequential call for the management of the train and the services provided to travelers and dangerously extensive.”