Elderly woman narrowly avoids being crushed by train

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
July 25, 2017US News
Elderly woman narrowly avoids being crushed by train

An Oklahoma woman barely escaped being run over by a train when her car slid into a ditch and overturned next to a railroad crossing in the town of Muldrow.

The accident was reported immediately and rescue personnel arrived quickly, but there was no time to act.


The woman was trapped in her car, hanging upside down. Rescue workers watched helplessly as an oncoming train bore down on the overturned vehicle.

The driver was clearly not fated for disaster this day. The train missed the bumper of her car by less than 2 feet.

NTD Photo

After the train had passed rescue workers were able to dig a small trench to open the car door, and extricate the elderly lady, who was miraculously unhurt.

“She’s extremely blessed to be alive,” said Muldrow Assistant Police Chief Tim Keith after the rescue.

“Initially I thought maybe we could push her off the tracks with the push bumpers, but there [was no way] without getting a police Tahoe struck by the train … we were powerless.”

The driver’s identity has not yet been released.

Muldrow Police, Muldrow Fire Department, and Pafford EMS workers all responded to the scene. They knew precisely where to go because, surprisingly, this particular intersection is a known hazard, which has nearly claimed other victims.

On July 14, just eight days earlier, police were summoned to rescue the driver of a pickup who had slid into the same ditch.

That time there was no train, which was exceedingly lucky as the bed of the pickup truck protruded across the tracks.

The intersection is not marked. There are no flashing lights warning that a train is coming, and no raising and lowering crossbar—but those are not what make the intersection of road and track dangerous.

Heading south on Fargo Street from NW 1st Avenue, the road narrows from 24 feet on one side of the train tracks to 18 feet on the other side.

Because the railroad tracks form a crest, a driver sticking close to the right edge of the road could find his or her wheels running off the road and into the ditch—exactly as happened to these two vehicles.

The city and the railroad are both aware of the situation but neither wants to take responsibility.

Muldrow’s city administrator said the road within 50 feet of the tracks is the responsibility of Union Pacific Railroad. A representative for the railroad said it is only responsible for the actual crossing and the approaching roadways are within the city’s purview.

Possibly these two near misses will stimulate some action.

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