Canadian crew asleep during fatal train crash: U.S. report

U.S. safety body says two Canadian train crewmembers asleep during fatal crash.

A deadly collision between two Canadian National trains last year was the result of two crew members falling asleep, due to a severe sleep disorder.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday both Canadian crew members suffered from sleep apnea, an affliction that causes extreme drowsiness, even during working hours. It can also cause a cessation of breathing while asleep.

The NTSB report said the two crew members were diagnosed with sleep apnea by their regular doctors before the accident. They were not treated for the condition, and sleep apnea wasn't listed in either of their medical records.

The crew members were engineer Allen Yash and conductor Jesse Enriquez.

The collision happened at 6 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2001, near Clarkston, Michigan, killing two crew members of the other train. One train had 89 cars, the other 94.

The NTSB report said the two crew members missed a stop signal and did not see the lights of the oncoming train. The report recommends the Canadian railway conduct fatigue awareness for its employees.