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Family Escapes SUV Right Before Train Plows Into Vehicle

Mother and daughter run for their lives right before a train slams into their vehicle.

A family of five narrowly escaped from their SUV before a train smacked into their vehicle. The accident happened in Forney, Texas and a shocking video shows the mother and daughter holding hands as they run for their lives. Nobody was injured, but a witness shot the stunning video and watched in horror as three kids under the age of 12 and their parents cheated death.

Racing Across the Tracks


The short video posted by Cody Atchley, who witnessed the incident, shows a mother and daughter running across the tracks, literally seconds before a train crashed into the burgundy SUV. The car was hit so hard, it was pushed to the side of the tracks and nearly-180-degree spin before landing off the side of the road. 

The Driver Pulled on the Tracks


The driver stopped on the tracks while waiting for the red light instead of "waiting behind [the] track," Atchley told the Daily Mail. "The arms came down for train to pass [and] was on top of the SUV," he said. "They couldn't get out because of vehicle…Close seconds before [the] train hit them they jumped out and grab the kids from back seats."

Train Collision with Cars Happen More Than You Think


While this incident is shocking, it's not the only time an accident like this has occurred. According to the United States Department of Transportation, "Injuries and deaths occur at rail crossings every day. In 2021, there were more than 1,600 collisions between vehicles and freight and commuter trains, and nearly 500 collisions at transit train crossings in 2020. The result: 133 people died and 644 people were injured. Most of these tragedies are preventable."

Trains Can't Stop Quickly


Trains can stop if they see a car or debris on the tracks, but they can't stop quickly. "A freight train may take up to a mile or more — the length of 18 football fields — to stop and a light rail train may require about 600 feet — the length of two football fields," the USDT states. "If your car stalls on a track, quickly get everyone out — even if you don't see a train coming. Run away from the tracks and your car to avoid being hit by flying debris. Call the number on the blue emergency notification system sign. If the sign is not visible to you, call 911."

"Drivers Need to Heed Extra Caution When Traveling Over Train Tracks"

Rockland County Government/Facebook

In February of this year, a tractor-trailer got stuck on the tracks 40 miles outside of New York City in the upstate town of Haverstraw. The driver was able to escape before the freight train plowed into the truck and literally tore the semi apart, causing widespread damage. In a Facebook post, Rockland County Executive Ed Day stated, "Drivers need to heed extra caution when traveling over train tracks and should never, ever, proceed to wait for a traffic light on train tracks. Always maintain a safe distance from the crossing gates and only cross train tracks if you're able to safely get to the other side."

Train Rules to Follow


There's many rules to follow when it comes to trains and many common sense practices like never driving around a gate that's lowering for a train or ignore the signals, don't stop on the tracks, instead stop 15 feet away from the flashing red lights and lowered gate, and look both ways before driving over tracks. In addition, the USDT lists the following rules: 

–"When a transit train operates in mixed traffic, where the roadway is shared with all types of road users, the trains do not have the right-of-way over other roadway users at crossings and intersections. Instead, they are usually controlled with the same devices used by general traffic.

–If a light or passenger train operates within a separate traveled way, or along a street or railroad where vehicles have limited access, and cross at designated grade crossing locations only, the light rail vehicles usually have the right-of-way over other roadway users. 

–Vehicles and other traffic are prohibited from light or passenger train crossings when a crossing is separated by something like a bridge or underpass, or protected by a fence or traffic barrier, and there are no traffic control devices."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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