BALTIMORE (AP) — Error by the garbage truck driver who tried to go through a railroad crossing and was hit by a CSX freight train caused its derailment, explosion and fire, Baltimore County police said Thursday.
Officers issued seven traffic citations to John J. Alban Jr. in the May 28 crash. The charges, which include negligent driving, are all misdemeanors. They carry fines that can be paid, or Alban can contest the citations in court.
Police said neither drugs nor alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The 45-car CSX train crashed into the trash truck. A hazardous chemical in one of the rail cars likely caused the explosion and fire that investigators say damaged buildings as far as a mile away
Alban owns Alban Waste LLC, which is near the Rosedale rail crossing where the crash occurred. He was hospitalized for days after the crash, which caused $625,000 worth of damage to the train and tracks and an untold amount of destruction to nearby businesses and homes.
Earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report that said stop signs at the crossing were faded and displaced, including one that was hung upside down and facing away from the road.
CSX has filed suit in federal court in Baltimore against Alban and his company for negligence in the derailment.
Thursday’s police report on the investigation concluded: “The cause of this crash is driver error on the part of … John J. Alban Jr.”
A woman who answered the phone at Alban’s home Thursday said “goodbye” and hung up.