FrontRunner train hits car: Close call for woman and grandson

Jun 6 2013 - 9:36am

Images

A car that was involved in an accident with train is loaded on a tow truck on 4800 South in Roy Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (SCOTT SCHWEBKE/Standard-Examiner)
A car that was involved in an accident with train is loaded on a tow truck on 4800 South in Roy Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (SCOTT SCHWEBKE/Standard-Examiner)
A vehicle sits on a flat bed tow truck after being struck by a train Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Roy, Utah. (NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
(Coutresy photo)
A car that was involved in an accident with train is loaded on a tow truck on 4800 South in Roy Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (SCOTT SCHWEBKE/Standard-Examiner)
A car that was involved in an accident with train is loaded on a tow truck on 4800 South in Roy Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (SCOTT SCHWEBKE/Standard-Examiner)
A vehicle sits on a flat bed tow truck after being struck by a train Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Roy, Utah. (NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner)
(Coutresy photo)

ROY -- A woman whose car was struck by a FrontRunner train Wednesday in Roy said her first thought following the crash was to rescue her 6-month old grandson who was still in the back seat.


"I was very, very scared and freaking out," Samantha Moore of North Ogden said following the 11:45 a.m. accident at the intersection of 2700 West and 4800 South. "There was a huge crash and pieces of the car were hitting the ground."


Moore, 47, who was operating a 2011 Dodge Charger, and her grandson, Mason, escaped injury.


Roy police Sgt. Damon Christensen said Moore has been cited for failure to yield at a railroad crossing.


Moore was traveling west on 4800 South and was approaching the train tracks to turn left on to 2700 West.  Witnesses told police that lights at the crossing were flashing indicating a northbound FrontRunner train was approaching, said Christensen. While Moore attempted to cross the tracks a crossing arm came down on the back of her car, he said.


Witnesses also reported that Moore got out of her vehicle and attempted to lift the crossing arm. Moore left Mason in a car seat as the FrontRunner came around a curve and struck the front of the car.


Moore could have avoided the crash if she had stayed in her vehicle and drove straight ahead off of the tracks, Christensen said.


"That's one of the baffling parts," he said.


However, Moore, who was en route to the Roy Aquatic Center when the accident occurred, told a Standard-Examiner reporter at the scene that as she approached the tracks the crossing lights were not flashing. The crossing arm came down suddenly on her vehicle, she said.


Anthony Schmitt and Shalaye Phelts, who are Mason's parents, were also heading to the Roy Aquatic Center in another car and came upon the wreck and were stunned.


"My heart dropped," said Schmitt.


Remi Barron, spokesman for the Utah Transit Authority, said the crossing lights were flashing and crossing arms were operating properly at the time of the crash. The accident caused  about a 15 to 20 minute delay of the FrontRunner.


Roy Police Chief Gregory G. Whinham said the crash should serve as a reminder that motorists should drive through breakaway crossing arms to safety if they get stuck on railroad tracks.


"Just drive through them to get off the tracks," he said.


The mishap is the third involving a train in Weber County in the last week. A man was killed Monday by a FrontRunner at 2400 North, just above Meadow Park in Sunset. Another man was struck and killed Saturday by a Union Pacific train near 6000 South and 2400 West.

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