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Oversized load truck driver who caused massive train derailment in Tennessee arrested on felony charge


Police in Collegedale, Tennessee, have arrested a truck driver on multiple charges following a train derailment that occurred in December.

On January 11, the Collegedale Police Department announced that truck driver Jorge Luis Cruz-Vega was arrested and charged with failure to yield, a registration violation, and felony reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from a train derailment that occurred on December 20, 2022, at the railroad crossing located in the 10000 block of Apison Pike in Collegedale.

A Norfolk Southern train struck a truck hauling an oversized load, causing three engines and 10 rail cars to leave the tracks “causing substantial damage to the rail system and other infrastructures.”

The train’s engineer and conductor were hospitalized with injuries.

Following an investigation into the incident, Collegedale Police provided information on the events leading to the derailment:

The investigation revealed that a tractor trailer was delivering a 137-foot concrete bridge span across the railroad crossing at the time of the collision.

The driver, identified as Jorge Luis Cruz-Vega, proceeded across the railroad crossing behind his first escort car without first assuring his tractor trailer could completely clear the tracks. He also did not make contact or arrangements with Norfolk Southern Railroad about his delivery route.

Cruz-Vega stopped halfway across the tracks after his turn, bringing his tractor trailer into the on-coming lane of traffic instead of his own travel lane.

While stopped in the on-coming lane of traffic, Cruz-Vega’s tractor trailer and the concrete bridge span was struck by a Norfolk Southern locomotive, causing the train to derail.

Cruz-Vega is currently out on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 12. 2023.

In the police body cam footage below, Cruz-Vega tells an officer on the scene about the events leading to the derailment.


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