The Spain train derailment death toll has now been lowered to 78 from 80, but the incredible crash and the damage is no less tragic. Now the train's conductor, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, is being detained by authorities as they believe he was the main cause of the accident in Santiago de Compostela Wednesday evening.
The Spain train derailment's initial death toll of 80 came as a result of police confusion over the bodies of the living and the deceased. 69 Spaniards and three foreigners— one Mexican, one American and one Algerian— were killed during the high-speed accident, and the others have not yet been identified.
Although Amo, 52, is still recovering from the horrific crash in the hospital, police have decided to detain him "as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident," Jamie Iglesias, National Police chief of Galacia, told CBS. That crime could possibly be speeding, as Amo admitted he was going around 190 kph (118 mph) when the speed limit on that section of the track was only 80 kph (50 mph).
"I messed up; I want to die," the injured train conductor reportedly told local media. "So many people dead, so many people dead." He has not been questioned by authorities because of his medical condition, though.
A survivor of the crash, 18-year-old Mormon missionary Stephen Ward of Utah, said that he saw the train's speed right before it "lifted up off the track."
"It was like a rollercoaster," he told CBS, saying he must have passed out soon afterwards, because he remembered waking up with blood on his head.
"Everyone was covered in blood. There was smoke coming up off the train. There was a lot of crying, a lot of screaming. There were plenty of dead bodies. It was quite gruesome," Ward added.
Authorities intend to find exactly how fast the train was going at the time of the crash and other factors by examining the "black box," Iglesias said, adding that it has not been investigated yet. It is unknown how long the analysis will take.
Almost 100 people are injured from the accident, with 31 in critical condition.