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.
Information from: Home News Tribune