Disgruntled employee steals train, goes on joyride before colliding with another train
A disgruntled rail company employee, unhappy with working conditions, stole a train on Thursday taking it for a joyride before plowing into another train to “see what it was like to hit something.”
Rail Link employee Derek Skyler Brux, 22, was charged on Friday with reckless endangerment, felony destruction of property, and removal of railroad track or fixtures after allegedly stealing a train from North Antelope Rochelle mine in New Campbell, Wyoming, and taking it on a 13-mile joyride before driving it into another train, according to the Gilette News Record.
According to court documents, Brux became incensed with his supervisor’s response to working conditions, and proceeded to unhook some cars from a locomotive before stealing it.
He told deputies he did not know where he was headed and that he wanted to make Rail Link pay.
After taking the train, Brux called his supervisor and asked her if she wanted to play chicken, before hanging up the phone and calling the rail dispatch, advising them that he was taking the locomotive on the main rail line. He estimated that he was going about 60 mph for about 15 minutes before plowing through one switch, telling authorities he didn’t know if he “quite got up to 70 mph.”
At one point, Brux ran through another switch where construction was going on. Asked if he startled the workers as he passed, Brux said, “They were probably (expletive) scared. They probably (expletive) themselves. Whatever.”
Rail Link employees attempted to speak with Brux, calling him on his company-issued cell phone. According to Brux, he got mad and said he was not an Apple fan and smashed the phone for something to do.
Spying another train on the tracks, Brux drove his locomotive into it before backing up and hitting it again, saying he was going about 10mph at the time.
“I wanted to see what it was like to hit something, so I hit at it,” Brux said, according to court documents.
After another Rail Link employee disabled the train, Brux took off on foot before being caught by deputies.
Cost of damages is currently unavailable, with the replacement cost of one switch valued at about $50,000.
Brux faces imprisonment of up to twenty years and fines of $20,000.