Train slams into car stuck on tracks moments after driver escape - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Train slams into car stuck on tracks moments after driver escapes

The driver's car was pushed about a mile down the tracks by the train. (Source: WCBS, Richie Donovan video, Clarkstown Police/CNN) The driver's car was pushed about a mile down the tracks by the train. (Source: WCBS, Richie Donovan video, Clarkstown Police/CNN)


CONGERS, NY (WCBS/CNN) -  A violent Christmas Eve collision between a freight train and a car was caught on camera in Rockland County, NY. The driver told police she got confused trying to make a turn and ended up stuck on the tracks.

But a good neighbor came to her rescue. "As the train was approaching, I told her 'you gotta move, you gotta move now,’” said Richie Donovan, a good Samaritan.

Donovan will never forget Christmas Eve 2017, and the dangerous situation that unfolded at the railroad crossing in Congers.

A woman driving a black sedan got stuck on the tracks. Donovan and others were trying to move the car to safety when all of a sudden the train started coming down the tracks. "Next thing you know we looked around the corner and the train was right there. The horns were blaring and everything,” Donovan said. 

Donovan captured the crash on video using his Smartphone. Another man got a second angle on video. The car was indeed totaled after being smashed by a CSX freight train.

The train was moving at a pretty good clip when it struck the sedan. The engineer applied the brakes, but still managed to push the car about a mile down the tracks.

The driver of the car told Clarkstown Police she got confused trying to make a right hand turn onto Rockland Avenue. The road is just a few feet on the other side of the tracks. "She said she made a wrong turn. She had no idea, and I said, I've lived her my whole life, born and raised, this is a common occurrence here,” Donovan said. 

Clarkstown Police say it's a reminder about dangers at rail crossings. "Take their time, at night if there's no moonlight it's very dark, tough to see. Just take a little bit more time and make sure you're making good decisions,” said officer Pete Walker of the Clarkstown Police.

"I had her by the arm, I was telling her gotta get away from the car. I know she wanted her pocketbook and stuff out of the car but in a situation like that I think your life's a little more important than a pocketbook or your cell phone,” Donovan said. 

A Christmas Eve collision, and a very close call. Police said lighting at the crossing was recently improved.

The town will talk with CSX Railroad to discuss additional safety measures.

Copyright 2017 WCBS via CNN. All rights reserved

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