Federal felony charges await a 22-year-old man from Wisconsin after he stole a locomotive, ran it through railroad switches, causing thousands of dollars in damage, put dozens of railroad employees and others in grave danger, and ultimately rammed it into another train. Twice.
The Gillette News Record says Derek Skyler Brux was charged on Friday with reckless endangering, felony destruction of property and felony destruction, and obstruction or removal of railroad track or fixtures after authorities say he admitted to stealing a train from North Antelope Rochelle mine and driving it 13 miles on a main line before crashing it into another train.
It happened on Thursday, shortly before 9:00 a.m.
A probable cause affidavit says Brux, a utility coal operator for Rail Link, became upset after his supervisor responded unfavorably to his concerns about his work conditions. He allegedly wanted to make Rail Link pay, so he unhooked some cars from a locomotive and then drove the locomotive in what is described as the “loop” at the work site and, in the process, destroyed some equipment.
Brux then called his supervisor and asked if she wanted to play chicken. He then alerted rail dispatch that he was taking the rogue locomotive onto the main line. He did, getting the train up to an estimated 60 miles per hour before plowing through a $50,000 switch.
On more than one occasion, Peabody Energy Corp. and Burlington Northern Sante Fe attempted to stop the locomotive over a five mile stretch, but were unable to do so. Shortly after, Brux rammed the locomotive into another train on the main line. Then, he backed his locomotive up and then headed back toward the opposing locomotive, ramming it again.
He then attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended. No injuries were reported.
This isn’t the only train crash of note that occurred last week. The Inquisitr shared dramatic video of a violent train crash in Mer Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, October 5, when a tractor-trailer carrying a crane became stuck on a railroad crossing and minutes later a train plowed into it. Witness video shows the entire situation. Fortunately, the driver of the truck escaped before the crash, however, there were injuries. The two-person crew on the train was injured when the train derailed and tipped on its side.
One week later, on October 12, a train-car crash that occurred four hours away from Mer Rouge, in White Castle, Louisiana, claimed the lives of three, according to WAFB-TV. Train signals and gates were operating correctly at the time. Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.