The driver of a pickup truck that was hit by a Metrolink train in Oxnard, triggering a derailment that injured dozens of people, is due in court Thursday to face potential felony hit-and-run charges.
Jose Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, has been in police custody since early Tuesday, when police say they found him walking and apparently “disoriented” more than a mile away from the scene of the derailment. The Yuma, Ariz., resident was booked on suspicion of felony hit and run and is being held on $150,000 bail, officials said.
The derailment occurred before 6 a.m. near the Rice Avenue crossing. Sanchez-Ramirez's Ford F-450 was hauling a trailer when, according to his lawyer, he mistakenly turned and drove onto the tracks and became stuck. Sanchez-Ramirez was in the area for work and thought he was turning onto 5th Street, said Ron Bamieh, his attorney.
It was only after he couldn’t dislodge the truck and couldn’t find anyone in the area that Sanchez-Ramirez walked away to find help, Bamieh said.
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