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Truck driver in Rosedale train crash says he saw, heard nothing

According to a recently-released police report on the crash of a trash truck and a CSX train in Rosedale on May 28, the truck driver said that he slowed down and looked as he approached the tracks, but did not see or hear the oncoming train. The collision resulted in the train’s derailment, a multi-alarm fire, and an explosion that injured four people, including the driver. Several buildings nearby were also damaged.

The 50-year-old truck driver has been charged with seven traffic violations, including negligent driving and failure to stop at a railroad crossing. He told Baltimore County police that he was talking on his Bluetooth phone as he was driving to a recycling facility. According to the report, the driver said he looked to the right and did not see anything, so he proceeded across the tracks.

The driver said that he did not hear the train’s horn until he was on the tracks, and by then it was too late to escape the oncoming train. However, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the crash, the train whistle blew three times, and was still blowing when the train crashed into the truck.

Several of the train cars were carrying highly-flammable chemicals. Therefore, the combustion in those cars was quick and widespread. One car loaded with sodium was damaged to the point that few pieces were found.

CSX has filed a $225,000 civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the driver and his company, which he owns. The suit alleges that the truck driver’s negligence was responsible for the collision. Most car accidents and other vehicular crashes, fortunately, are not as destructive as this one was. However, anyone who has been injured in a collision, or who lost a loved one, should seek legal recourse apart from any criminal charges that may be filed. Law firms that specialize in representing accident victims can help ensure that they are appropriately compensated.

The Baltimore Sun, “Truck driver said he slowed, looked before Rosedale train crash” Candy Thomson, Jun. 29, 2013