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Truck Driver Charged In Explosive Train Derailment Says He Didn’t Hear The Horn

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Train Derailment
Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ) — New details in the train derailment and explosion that shook parts of Baltimore County, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Rochelle Ritchie combs over a just released police report that explains why the driver says he didn’t stop.

Baltimore County Police just releasing this report say the driver states he did not hear the horn sound until it was too late.

WJZ is learning more about the train derailment last month that caused a massive explosion in Rosedale. So powerful–windows of businesses were left shattered. Homes to this day–still damaged.

“We have cracks in all the blocks and all four corners of the walls are cracked,” a homeowner said.

New images released show the aftermath of the accident. Investigators say the train was moving at 49 miles per hour during the collision.

The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, only to be released with major problems.

John Alban, 50, has been slapped with a lawsuit by CSX and charged with seven misdemeanors, including failure to stop at a railroad crossing, failure to use a seat belt and negligent driving.

But in a 19 page police report released by Baltimore County, the driver says he never heard or saw the train coming.

In his statement to investigators, Alban says he was talking on his Bluetooth cell phone connector prior to the crash. He did not hear the train warning horn.

It was only when he was crossing the tracks he heard the train horn and looked up about the same time the train hit him

“It sounded like a car crash but magnified,” a neighbor said.

The report goes on to say a warning sign, saying “stop, look and listen,” is obstructed by foliage, but the railroad crossing sign is clearly visible.

NTSB officials say the horn of the train was sounded three times.

“The third blast lasts and continues up to and including the point of impact,” said Robert Sumwalt, NTSB.

Baltimore County Police say the accident is the result of driver error.

Police say drugs and alcohol were not a factor.

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