Truck at Center of Train Crash Became Stuck on Tracks: Police

A train derailed about 5:45 a.m. in Oxnard, sending more than two dozen people to hospitals, including four in critical condition.

The driver of the produce truck at the center of the Southern California commuter train crash that sent 28 people to hospitals was being questioned as to why the truck became stuck on the tracks, police said.

The 54-year-old driver, identified as Jose Alejandro Sanchez Ramirez, was arrested on a hit-and-run charge, Oxnard police said. He was found disoriented by a police officer several miles away from the crash scene.

The train derailed about 5:45 a.m. just east of the Oxnard station, near Rice Avenue and Fifth Street. The crash sent more than two dozen people to hospitals, including four in critical condition. The derailment interrupted rail service from Ventura County.

Little was left of the truck except scorched and mangled wreckage, with some debris found in a nearby intersection and some close to the tracks.

Oxnard Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites said during a news conference that when the truck was safe to search, police found no sign of a driver or any passengers. It was a patrol officer who spotted the driver — disoriented, but otherwise OK — several miles away. He was taken to a hospital for observation, Benites said.

Officers were sifting through a complicated scene to determine what caused the crash. Benites said it started when the driver of the box truck, with a trailer, turned onto the tracks instead of nearby Fifth Street and became stuck.

The driver was not arrested, but police were looking into any "potential acts" that would require a criminal investigation, Benites said.

The Metrolink train carrying 48 passengers and three crew members was heading from Ventura County to Los Angeles.

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