Woman rescued from oncoming train

March 27, 2009 4:09:51 AM PDT
Some quick-thinking University of Delaware students are being hailed as heroes after helping a woman get out of her car just moments before it was demolished by a freight train.It happened late Wednesday night in Newark, Delaware.

VIDEO: Surveillance video of the car being hit by a train

June Griffith was behind the wheel of her white car, and made a turn off of Main Street. She thought she was heading down a road, but in reality she was driving on railroad tracks.

She tried to reverse, but her car was stuck.

Nearby, students from the University of Delaware see what's happening, and rush over to help. The group, members of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, were walking home and happened to be in the right place at the right time.

At first, they try to push the car onto the pavement. That's when the crossing gates drop.

Time is running out.

"We had to pull her out of the car because she was panicking. She kind of froze up," said Frank DiPietrapaul.

"One young man had me under my arm here, and another had me under my arm here, and they literally drug me across the street," Griffith said. "Thank God."

Once June was out of the car, they and horrified onlookers could only watch as the train approached.

"Every second it was like 'It's going to hit, it's going to hit... Then, bam!" said Elise Wolpert.

That was the moment the freight train smashed into Griffith's stopped car.

"The crash was loud, the glass... You could hear the glass shatter, sparks flew," said students Alex Crespo.

RELATED: The rescuers, and the driver, talk about the crash. John Rawlins reports.

As for June, she is thankful to be alive, but this is far from a happy ending.

Her 10-year-old Pontiac Grand Am, that had more than 200,00 miles on it, is a total loss. It would have been covered by her comprehensive insurance if she had hit a deer, or even if a plane had crashed into her.

But, it doesn't cover what happened Wednesday night.

"My insurance today said they are not paying anything," Griffith said.

The insurance company considers the crash a collision, and requires collision insurance. Griffith, who is on a fixed income, dropped her collision insurance last year to save money.

Now, she needs to find another way to get around, since she makes frequent trips to the doctor's office.

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