SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a New Jersey man was drunk when he drove on railroad tracks and left his passenger before a freight train hit the vehicle.

Hector Espinel-Mendez is charged with aggravated assault, reckless driving, drunken driving and driving drunk as an underage person.

Middlesex County prosecutors say the 20-year-old turned onto the tracks in South Plainfield Thursday and drove for nearly a mile before the car became disabled.

Officials say Espinel-Mendez left his passenger in the car and fled as the freight train approached.

Latoya Lorimer is in critical but stable condition after the 18-year-old Piscataway resident was ejected from the vehicle in the crash.

Espinel-Mendez was arrested when the North Plainfield resident returned to the scene.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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