RAW VIDEO: Perryton couple shares firsthand account of Panhandle train crash

Perryton couple shares firsthand account of Panhandle train crash
Published: Jun. 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2016 at 11:30 PM CDT
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Bern (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
Bern (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
Rett (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
Rett (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)

PANHANDLE, TX (KCBD) - A Perryton couple on their way to Amarillo drove upon a fiery scene Tuesday morning, just moments after two trains collided in Panhandle.

"We were about a mile, or a mile-and-a-half even, down the road towards Panhandle," Bern said, "and we were driving, and all of a sudden we could see like flames just shooting up."

It was scene so scary that Bern questioned if her husband should continuing driving toward the unknown. She began to record it all on her cellphone.

"We were like wow, something must've exploded," Bern said. "We were surprised we didn't hear anything, but we definitely saw all that explosion and a couple of cars in front of us were just kind of like creeping forward because we didn't know what we were driving towards."

Just minutes later, Bern saw the source of the flames – a twisted stack of railroads cars.

"There were no first responders or police officers there yet," Bern said, "so it had just happened."

But there were already enough witnesses there that the Watts knew 911 had already been called.

'My husband and I were talking and we were praying in the car," Bern said, "and honestly, we're just praying for a miracle."

Even after they dropped Bern's mother off at the airport, they followed the smoke back to Panhandle and realized that this devastation was not caused by a derailment...but when two trains hit head on.

"That's when I realized, man…this is something that really needs to be on our hearts and on our minds throughout the day," Rett said.

It was not until later that the Watts realized three of the railroad workers could not be found after this crash.

"To the employees, if I could say something to them, it would be that no matter what, no matter how grim the situation may look…God is still on your side," Rett said.

This means the Watts' ministry work in Perryton spreads 90 miles away through their thoughts and the Panhandle devastation that they watched fade away in their rearview mirror.

"To the employees and the family members, I just want to say that we love you," Rett said, "and there is love even coming from Perryton and from people you may not know. But we love you, and we're praying for you. We believe in you, and you're going to pull through this."

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