Police Give New Details on Truck-Train Collision

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Smoke billows from a train derailment that caused a major explosion in the Rosedale neighborhood (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Smoke billows from a train derailment that caused a major explosion in the Rosedale neighborhood (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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ROSEDALE, Md. — A trash hauler whose collision with a train set off a fiery explosion May 28 would have been able to see for more than half a mile up and down the rail line if he had stopped before crossing the tracks near his business in Rosedale, a police investigator reported.

The wreck and the chemical explosion critically injured the truck driver, rattled windows miles away and sent a plume of black and gray smoke high into the air.

Truck driver John Alban Jr. said he slowed his truck, which he was operating at 10 mph as he approached the crossing shortly after 2 p.m., according to the report issued by Baltimore County police on Friday.

Alban, owner of Alban Waste LLC, said he had made several trips from his nearby business on May 28 before the crash with a CSX freight train.

Alban told police he did not hear the train’s warning horn. The report says the train engineer’s video recorded the horn sounding when the truck appeared and continued through impact.

The report said Alban fell through the shattered rear window of the truck, indicating he was not wearing a seat belt. He was hospitalized for days after the accident.

Police interviewed Alban on June 19 at his home. He told police he was talking on his Bluetooth phone connector while heading to the crossing.

Alban said as he was crossing the tracks, he heard the train’s horn and looked up just as he was hit.

The Associated Press has been unable to reach Alban despite repeated calls to his home.

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.

Police announced Thursday seven traffic charges against Alban.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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