This story was reported by Senior Field Editor Bryan Sears.
The driver of a truck involved in the train derailment in Rosedale last month that caused an explosion heard for miles around Baltimore is being sued by CSX.
John J. Alban and Alban Waste are being sued for $225,000, alleging negligence related to the accident.
“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.
Alban Waste, located at 1001 68 th Street, is owned by John J. Alban.
Alban was not available for comment. A call to his business was answered by an unidentified man who said “no one will be making any comments” on the lawsuit.
Alban was behind the wheel of a 2003 Mack Granite roll off truck when he crossed the train tracks in Rosedale. 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.
“Prior to the collision and since at least 2011, Alban had driven his personal vehicle, and Alban Waste vehicles through the crossing from both directions in order to go to and from Alban Waste’s principal office and place of business,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Alban’s actions caused 15 of the 45-car train to derail. Two of the cars were carrying chemicals that later caught fire and caused an explosion, which damaged the train tracks and other property owned by CSX.
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.
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 the NTSB Wednesday 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.