Details of a police investigation released on Monday explained that Francisco Reyes, 20, was driving a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt when the car veered off the roadway and became stuck on the tracks in Ellicott City, Maryland at around 4.30am on Saturday morning.
Reyes was steering the vehicle from inside as a second person, Blaise Nji, 21, pushed the vehicle from behind when the train struck, Ellicott City Patch reported.
Reyes was pushed 610 feet along the tracks, sustaining serious but non-life-threatening injuries and is being treated in hospital.
Nji was not injured.
The road was closed for about 2 hours and 40 minutes while police and CSX officials investigated the collision, police said.
The train, which was hauling 130 coal cars, did not derail or spill any of its contents.