John J. Alban Jr. of the 1400 block Sussex Rd. in Essex faces seven misdemeanor traffic charges including:
- Failure to stop at a railroad crossing when required
- Failure to stop a vehicle 15 to 50 feet from the nearest railroad crossing rail
- Failure to stop, look and listen at a railroad crossing
- Proceeding across a railroad crossing when unsafe
- Failure of a commercial vehicle to slow down, stop and clear a railroad crossing
- Failure to use a seat belt
- Negligent driving
Alban can pay the fines or challenge the citations in court, according to the police department statement.
A video shot by a security camera near the crossing shows Alban’s truck crossing the tracks. The train, which was traveling 49 mph, can be seen striking the rear of Alban’s vehicle.
Alban was behind the wheel of a 2003 Mack Granite roll off truck owned by his waste hauling business.
The collision caused a derailment. Two cars carrying chemicals caught fire and exploded, creating a fireball and sending smoke for miles around Baltimore. Some windows were shattered and residents were shaken up, but no severe injuries were reported.
Alban and Alban Waste, located at 1001 68th Street, are the subject of a federal lawsuit filed by CSX earlier this month.
The $225,000 lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of Alban and his company.
“Alban was legally obligated to slow and stop the truck and exercise due care, including by looking and listening, to ensure the tracks were clear of approaching trains and that the crossing could be traversed safely,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
The crossing is about 1,500 feet from the office of Alban’s business, according to the lawsuit.
CSX, in its lawsuit, states that Alban should have been familiar with the railroad crossing.
The lawsuit also alleges that Alban Waste’s safety record with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration places it “in the bottom 10 percent of trucking companies of similar size in the nation when it comes to safety compliance."
Between June 7, 2012 and June 6, 2013, the company’s vehicles had 64 safety violations including 14 “out of service” violations—many of which involved the condition of the brakes on Alban Waste vehicles, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also notes that Alban has been found guilty of three traffic violations in the last three years, according to the suit and online court records.
Three months before the collision with the train, Alban was issued a ticket for driving 25 mph over the speed limit. Days before the accident he was cited for improperly securing a load on his truck, according to online court records.
The train derailment remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
A preliminary report issued last week by the NTSB found that the Rosedale intersection where a CSX train derailed and exploded last month had no active warning lights or gates.
In addition, two yellow stop signs "had faded significantly, and both had been displaced from their original mountings.” One of the signs regulating traffic on the northbound side of the tracks was hung upside down facing away from the roadway, according to the one-page preliminary report.
The report did not assess blame for the derailment and a full report could take a year to complete.