Overturned train cars rest along the tracks at the site of the train derailment at the intersection of the tracks with Apison Pike, Tenn., on Dec. 21, 2022. (Matt Hamilton/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)
Collegedale Police arrested the driver and charged him with failure to yield, a registration violation and felony reckless endangerment, news outlets reported on Wednesday.
The train hit the truck, which was carrying a 134-foot concrete truss bridge beam, last month as it sat on the tracks waiting for a traffic light to change. The collision pushed three locomotives and 10 railroad cars off the tracks, creating what the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management called “a disastrous mess” in Collegedale, a suburb of Chattanooga.
The driver did not make sure the tractor-trailer could completely clear the tracks before driving over them and did not contact Norfolk Southern Railroad about his delivery route, a police investigation found.
The driver attempted to clear the tracks when the crossing arms activated, but was unsuccessful, officials said.