It's one thing to swipe the company car or van and go on a joyride and get into a fender bender. It's another thing entirely when your company handles much larger vehicles, and you decide to go tool around in one of your company's trains.
A jaunt on a stolen train Thursday ended in a crash and possible federal felony charges for the 22-year-old driver.
Derek Skyler Brux was charged Friday with reckless endangering, felony destruction of property and felony destruction, obstruction or removal of railroad track or fixtures after allegedly stealing a train from North Antelope Rochelle mine and driving it south 13 miles before plowing it into another train.
Deputies were called out to the mine at about 8:55 a.m. Thursday.
The incident started when Brux, a utility coal operation for Rail Link, allegedly became upset about his supervisor's response to working conditions, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Circuit Court.
The disgruntled employee then unhooked some cars and drove the locomotive around what is described as a “loop” at the site and “pretty much squashed the 'expletive' outta their scales,” Brux said, according to the affidavit.
Brux then called his supervisor and asked her if she wanted to play chicken, the affidavit says. He hung up the phone and then called the rail dispatch, advising personnel there he was going onto the main rail line.
Brux said he estimated he was going 60 mph for about 15 minutes before plowing through switch 1. He told deputies he did not know where he was headed and that he wanted to make Rail Link pay, the affidavit says.
Brux said he headed south on the main line. When asked how fast he was going, the affidavit says he responded that he didn't know if he “quite got up to 70 mph,” but estimated he was going 50 mph for a good part of the trip.
Really glad nobody got hurt here, but seriously, you're going to swipe a train and then call your boss and ask her if she wants to play chicken?
Good luck in prison, son.