SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain -- Spanish police on Friday detained the driver of a train that crashed in northwestern Spain, lowered the death toll from 80 to 78 and took possession of the "black box" of the train expected to shed light on why it was going faster than the speed limit on the curve where it derailed.

A conversation the driver had with station officials immediately after the accident isn't helping his cause, Robert Nisbet of CBS News' British partner Sky News reported on "CBS This Morning" from Santiago de Compostela.

"I messed up; I want to die," Francisco Jose Garzon Amo allegedly said, according to local media reports. "So many people dead, so many people dead."

And in an interview with The Associated Press, an American passenger injured on the train said he saw on a TV monitor screen inside his car that the train was traveling 121 mph seconds before the crash — far above the 50 mph speed limit on the curve where it derailed.

Garzon Amo was officially detained in the hospital where he was recovering, said Jaime Iglesias, the National Police chief of the Galicia region where the crash happened just on the outskirts of the regional capital, Santiago de Compostela.

Iglesias said that Garzon Amo would be questioned "as a suspect for a crime linked to the cause of the accident."

The driver, under guard by police, cannot yet testify because of his medical condition, Iglesias said, adding that he did not have details of the medical condition but that it could delay efforts by police to question him.

The revised death toll from 80 to 78 came as forensic scientists matched body parts with each other at a makeshift morgue set up in a sports arena in Santiago de Compostela, said Antonio de Amo, the police chief in charge of the scientific service for Spain's National Police.

De Amo said police are still working to identify what they believe are the remains of six people, and that the count could change as they continue their work associating body parts with each other.

An American victim was identified by the Diocese of Arlington as Ana Maria Cordoba, an administrative employee from northern Virginia. Also among the dead were an Algerian and a Mexican, Spanish police said Friday.

Gustavo Angel confirmed to CBS News that his daughter, Cordoba, 47, of Arlington, Va., died in the crash. He said he was told of her death by authorities Thursday afternoon.

Angel said Cordoba was on holiday in Santiago de Compostela for two weeks with her husband and daughter. They were visiting the couple's son, an exchange student at a local university.

Cordoba's husband has skull injuries, and her daughter has a broken leg, and both are hospitalized, Angel said, adding that the son wasn't on the train.

Investigators, meanwhile, have taken possession of the "black box" of the train, which hurtled at high-speed along a curve and derailed, and will hand it over to the investigating judge, Iglesias said, adding that the box had not been opened yet.

The box records train's trip data, including speed and distances and braking and are similar to flight recorders for airplanes.
Court spokeswoman Maria Pardo Rios said analysis will be performed on the device but she declined comment on how long the analysis will take.

Stephen Ward, 18-year-old Mormon missionary from Utah, said he was writing in his journal when he looked up at the monitor and saw the train's speed. Then, he said, "the train lifted up off the track. It was like a roller coaster."

Seconds later, Ward remembered, a backpack fell from the rack above him and he felt the train fly off the track. That was his last memory before he blacked out on impact.

When Ward woke up, someone was helping him walk out of his train car and crawl out of a ditch where the car had toppled over. He thought he was dreaming for 30 seconds until he felt his blood-drenched face and noticed the scene around him.

"Everyone was covered in blood. There was smoke coming up off the train," he said. "There was a lot of crying, a lot of screaming. There were plenty of dead bodies. It was quite gruesome."

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  • Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, right, walks with the President of Galicia Alberto Nunez Feijoo, second from right, at the scene of a train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Emilio Lavandeira, Pool)

  • A relative of passengers involved in a train crash talks on her mobile phone, as she waits for news at the Cersia Building on July 25, 2013 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

  • Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy walks next to a derailed car at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • A wounded man involved in a train accident arrives at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Salome Montes)

  • Relatives of victims involved in a train accident wait for news outside a victim information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Brais Lorenzo)

  • Relatives of victims involved in a train accident react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Brais Lorenzo)

  • Relatives of the victims involved in Wednesday's train accident react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • Relatives of the victims involved in Wednesday's train accident react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • Relatives of the victims involved in Wednesday's train accident react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, center, walks with Spain's Public Works Minister Ana Pastor, right and the President of Galicia Alberto Nunez Feijoo, second from left at the scene of a train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Emilio Lavandeira, Pool)

  • Rescuers, forensics and police officers work at the site of a train accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. A train hurtled off the tracks on July 24, 2013 in northwest Spain killing at least 77 passengers and injuring more than 140, an official said today, the country's deadliest rail disaster in more than 40 years. (EMILIO LAVANDEIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A picture taken on July 24, 2013 shows derailed cars on the site of a train accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rescuers work on the site of a train accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, 2013. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rescuers work on the site of a train accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, 2013. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rescuers work on the site of a train accident near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, 2013. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rescuers work at the site of a train accident as the bodies of the victims, covered with blankets, lie on the ground, near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, 2013. ( MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rescuers work at the site of a train accident as the bodies of the victims, covered with blankets, lie on the ground, near the city of Santiago de Compostela on July 24, 2013. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rail workers are seen next to derailed cars at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • A rail personnel works next to the cabin of a derailed train following an accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • Rail personnel work next to the cabin of a derailed train following an accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • Rail personnel and firefighters inspect derailed cars at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Lalo Villar)

  • Emergency personnel take a break while working at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • Derailed cars are removed as emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Lalo Villar)

  • Emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Lalo Villar)

  • Emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • Derailed cars are removed as emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • Derailed cars are removed as emergency personnel work at the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Lalo Villar)

  • This aerial image taken from video shows a general view of the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo)

  • This aerial image taken from video shows a general view of the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo)

  • This aerial image taken from video shows a general view of the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo)

  • This aerial image taken from video shows a general view of the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. The death toll in a passenger train crash in northwestern Spain rose to 77 on Thursday after the train jumped the tracks on a curvy stretch just before arriving in the northwestern shrine city of Santiago de Compostela, a judicial official said. (AP Photo)

  • A woman reacts as relatives of victims of a train accident wait for news while gathering at an area where information will be released in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • Relatives of the victims of a train accident react outside the Cersia building, where they are attended by psychologists from the Red Cross in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Members of the Red Cross attend to relatives of the victims of a train accident outside the Cersia building in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives of the victims of a train accident react outside the Cersia building, where they are attended by psychologists from the Red Cross in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives of the victims of a train accident react outside the Cersia building, where they are attended by psychologists from the Red Cross in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. ( CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives of the victims of a train accident react outside the Cersia building, where they are attended by psychologists from the Red Cross in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Relatives of victims involved in a train accident wait for news at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Salome Montes)

  • Relatives of the victims of a train accident react outside the Cersia building, where they are attended by psychologists from the Red Cross in Santiago de Compostela on July 25, 2013. (CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman reacts as relatives of victims of a train accident wait for news while gathering at an area where information will be released in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • Women react as relatives of victims of a train accident wait for news while gathering at an area where information will be released in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/ Salome Montes)

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday July 24 2013, train driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo is helped by two men as he is evacuated from the site of a train accident in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (AP Photo/La Voz de Galicia/Xoan Soler)

  • A truck transports a carriage from the scene of a train crash on July 26, 2013 at Angrois, near Santiago de Compostela, Spain. (MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)