Europe

Polish truck driver charged in train crash that injured 18

  • The damaged nose of a Pendolino fast train that hit a flat-bed truck at an unguarded railway crossing in Schodnia, southwetern Poland, Thursday, April 7, 2017.  Several people have been hospitalised some with life-threatening injuries, officials said. A number of others suffered less severe injuries. (AP Photo)

    The damaged nose of a Pendolino fast train that hit a flat-bed truck at an unguarded railway crossing in Schodnia, southwetern Poland, Thursday, April 7, 2017. Several people have been hospitalised some with life-threatening injuries, officials said. A number of others suffered less severe injuries. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • The damaged flat-bed truck after being hit by a Pendolino fast train at an unguarded railway crossing in Schodnia, southwetern Poland, Thursday, April 7, 2017.  Several people have been hospitalised some with life-threatening injuries, officials said. (AP Photo) Poland Out

    The damaged flat-bed truck after being hit by a Pendolino fast train at an unguarded railway crossing in Schodnia, southwetern Poland, Thursday, April 7, 2017. Several people have been hospitalised some with life-threatening injuries, officials said. (AP Photo) Poland Out  (The Associated Press)

A prosecutor in Poland says the driver of a truck that was hit by a fast train at a railway crossing has been charged with causing a traffic catastrophe.

Lidia Sieradzka from the Prosecutor's Office in Opole, in southwestern Poland, said Saturday the driver could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. She identified him as Tomasz Ch., 31, in line with Poland's privacy regulations.

She said 18 people were hospitalized in the accident, seven with life-threatening injuries.

She said the driver apparently disregarded signs banning heavy loads from an unguarded railway crossing in the village of Schodnia and drove his loaded flat-bed truck across the tracks. The vehicle got stuck Friday and was hit by a Pendolino train carrying 300 passengers while the driver was off looking for help.