Francisco Jose Garzon, Spain Train Crash Driver: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Francisco Jose Garzon, 52, has been named as the driver of the train that derailed in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on Wednesday, killing 78 people. Garzon was among those who were injured and has been formally detained as a suspect for a crime linked to the crash, reports BBC News.

“I’ve derailed,” he told the rail company’s nerve centre after being pulled out of the wreckage. “What do I do? What am I supposed to do? I f***** up. I want to die.”

Here’s what you need to know about Francisco Jose Garzon…

1. Garzon May Have Been Driving the Train at Double the Speed Limit

There are reports that the train may have been traveling at more than double the speed limit at the moment of derailment. Garzon may have been traveling at 115 miles per hour, although the speed limit in the area was just 50 miles per hour.

Check out the intense footage of the derailment above.

2. He Bragged About His Train Speed on Facebook Last Year

Francisco Jose Garzon


Garzon has reportedly been working for the state-owned train operator Renfe for about 30 years. Last year, he posted a photo of a speedometer with the needle marked at 125 miles per hour, boasting about the speed of the train he was driving.

“I can’t go any faster or they’ll give me a fine,” the photo was captioned.

3. A Total of 78 People Died

Francisco Jose Garzon

(Getty Images)

The death toll in the accident climbed to 78 Wednesday as rescue teams sifted through the wreckage in search of survivors. The death toll is the highest since the 2004 rail bombing where a total of 191 people were killed when Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains in Madrid.

A total of 218 passengers and four crew members were aboard the train at the time of the derailment. 130 people were rushed to the hospital and 95 are still being treated as of Friday, 32 of which are seriously injured.

Spain has declared three days of national mourning over the crash.

“Today is a very difficult day,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said. “Today we have lived through a terrible, dramatic accident, which I fear will stay with us for a long time. For someone from Santiago, like myself, believe me, this is the saddest Day of St. James of my life.”

4. He’s Been Formally Detained

Police chief Jaime Iglesias said on Friday that Garzon has been formally detained “as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident” and is under guard at a Santiago hospital where he is recovering.

5. He Cannot Testify Yet

Spain Train Derailment

(Every Joe)

Iglesias added that Garzon could not yet testify because of his medical condition.