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Arizona man at center of train crash has history of driving issues

PHOENIX — An Arizona man who set in motion a fiery commuter train derailment in Southern California has multiple driving violations dating back to 1998.

Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez of Yuma, Arizona, also has a DUI conviction.

Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, was booked Tuesday on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, for leaving the pickup truck he was driving on railroad tracks in Oxnard, California. The ensuing crash with a Metrolink train left 28 people injured.

The newspaper reported that Sanchez-Ramirez was arrested in 1998 for driving under the influence. Other charges against him included having liquor with a minor nearby, failure to obey a traffic control device and driving without insurance.

Police said he was tested for drugs and alcohol after Tuesday’s accident but did not release the results.

Sanchez-Ramirez told authorities that the truck got stuck on the tracks and that he left to find help. He was found about a half-mile from the crash site less than an hour later.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman disputed the claim that the truck was stuck on the tracks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.