A Portland man whose car was hit by an Amtrak train on Brighton Avenue in January has been indicted on four charges by a Cumberland County grand jury.
The most serious charge against Derso Mekonen, 56, is reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon – his car – which is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines. Mekonen is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and driving to endanger.
According to police, video footage from nearby cameras showed Mekonen speeding along Brighton Avenue toward downtown Portland on Jan. 27, swerving around traffic stopped at the railroad crossing and then coming to a stop after hitting the safety barrier, with the front end of his car on the tracks. The car was then hit by the passing train.
Mekonen had minor injuries after the collision and the two children in his car were unhurt.
Mekonen was originally charged with the two child endangerment counts and a count of driving to endanger.