My husband’s not to blame for the crash

The wife of train driver Brett McCullough has spoken out on social media slamming those who blame her husband for the derailment.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 11:47 am
Investigators are still working at the scene of the Stonehaven train derailment.
Investigators are still working at the scene of the Stonehaven train derailment.

After the Leader went to press last week investigators looking at the cause of the incident released information about the trains speed.

This led to many suggesting the driver was at fault for travelling at nearly 73mph, having already encountered one landslip.

However, the heartbroken widow Stephanie McCullough has now made an impassioned plea that people do not start making assumptions which are not based on the full facts.

She said: “I thought I had to post this because of the recent posts on various news channels implying my lovely husband was at fault.

“When Brett was at Carmont, he was actually held there for 2 hours, when Brett was told to proceed back north he was told it was good to proceed at line speed that was 75mph, he was under that!

“At this point in time the storm had passed and the sun was shining, Brett did what he was told we know this because the “black box” recorded Brett’s speed that was under the speed limit and the communications between scotrail and Brett record everything.

“We also know Brett saw the landslide because the emergence brakes were applied. Many people don’t know that you can’t just stop a train. When the brakes are applied it could take up to a mile to stop a train, it’s not instant like a car.

“I can’t stand people implying that my beautiful kind husband was to blame. He did everything he was told to do.

“I can assure you Brett loved his job and did everything by the book. Unfortunately coming round that corner there was nothing he could have done.

“Please don’t assume things if you don’t know how the railway works as it’s very different from driving a car.

“It’s extremely hurtful to think people are judging Brett when they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Nobody should go to work and not come home. I have three heartbroken children here who Brett adored. His family was his world and he cared so much about people.

“Nobody can say a bad word about my kind gentle husband.”

An official report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said the train was travelling within “the maximum permitted” speed of 75mph at the time of the incident.

Further information from the RAIB revealed the train had reached 72.8mph. After being derailed, the train continued for around 70 metres before hitting the parapet of a bridge.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing by the RAIB, with a separate probe by the rail industry.