Photo by John Schreiber
Photo by John Schreiber

The driver whose truck was hit by a Metrolink train in Oxnard which derailed was released from jail without charges being filed.

Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, of Yuma, Arizona, was released from jail in Oxnard around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten announced that no charges were being filed against Sanchez-Ramirez at this time but investigations into the crash were continuing.

The crash occurred around 6 a.m. Tuesday, near the intersection of Rice Avenue and Fifth Street, just east of the Oxnard station as Metrolink train 102 was en route to Union Station

Twenty eight people were hospitalized. Two of them, the engineer, Glenn William Steele, 62, and a passenger, remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Four passenger cars and the rear locomotive were derailed.

Sanchez-Ramirez’s vehicle, a Ford F-450 towing a trailer, became stuck on the tracks when he mistakenly turned onto them, his attorney, Ron Bamieh, said.

Bamieh said Sanchez-Ramirez thought he was turning onto Fifth Street, and had then left the vehicle and went for help.

Sanchez-Ramirez was found in a dazed condition, about a mile and a half from the scene and was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

Reporters at the scene said he was in the company of his family when he was released from jail.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said the train was travelling at 64 mph when its crew members saw the pickup, about 1,100 feet in front of them, about 12 seconds before impact.

One second later, the train’s throttle was moved to idle, the Los Angeles Times reported investigators as saying.

Analysis of the train’s data recorders showed the brakes were applied eight seconds before impact, 750 feet from the pickup, the investigators said.

The train was travelling at 56 mph at the point of impact.

—City News Service

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