An Aberdeen man who is alleged to have parked a vehicle in front of an oncoming train last month has been charged with malicious injury to railroad property.
Joel Michael Krebs, 18, is scheduled to appear in Grays Harbor District Court on Tuesday.
According to court documents, law enforcement was called to the area around Beacon Avenue and the Monte-Elma Road about 9 p.m. Dec. 28 when a resident reported there was a train stopped on the tracks and she had heard a loud, crashing sound.
A deputy arrived to find a Montesano police officer talking to the engineer of the train. The engineer said a red pickup truck parked in the middle of the tracks forced him to initiate an emergency stop.
The deputy knew of earlier reports of a reckless red Toyota knocking over garbage cans and, a short time later, responded to a report of damaged mailboxes. Later on in the evening, dispatch reported an assault involving the passenger of the vehicle.
Police went to the passenger’s home. The passenger was hesitant to provide any information but finally told law enforcement he and Krebs had parked on the tracks in the “heat of the moment,” saying it was not planned, according to court documents.
The passenger later gave a written statement in which he admitted the two had damaged mailboxes with a hammer, run over garbage cans with the truck, and parked on the tracks.
Krebs was located nearby and arrested. He admitted to police he was “messing with the train” when he stopped in the tracks. In a statement, Krebs said he remained parked there for about 20 seconds while watching the train come toward the vehicle.
Krebs said he believed the train came within 100 feet of where his car was parked before they drove off. A deputy received a fax from the locomotive engineer after the accident stating that six cars had been derailed because of the emergency stop.