Survivor of Amtrak train crash: 'I have pain 24/7'

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A survivor of the Amtrak train crash last year is telling his story. (WPVI)

The crash of Amtrak train 188 one year ago isn't something passenger Robert Hewett will soon forget.

To this day, he is suffering the effects of the wreck in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia on May 12, 2015.

"I have pain 24/7. I have problems breathing because almost my entire ribcage was shattered and didn't heal properly, it's not where it's supposed to be. I have significantly less volume for my lungs to expand," said Hewett, from Essex County, New Jersey.

Because of head trauma, the 58-year-old Hewett was placed in a medically-induced coma, followed by months of rehabilitation. His kidneys are badly scarred, and he has fractured vertebrae.

From his lawyer's office in Center City on Thursday, he described lying awake at night, racked with guilt. He was in the first car where others died.

"I remember being thrown out of my seat, hitting the ceiling, the luggage racks, the seats. Right before I lost consciousness I crashed head-on with another gentleman, and I woke up laying on a pile of rocks," he said.

The Hewetts discovered a photo from the night of the crash, which shows first responders carrying a victim away from the scene. They believe that victim is Robert.

"I sent the picture to City Hall, hoping that they could identify the gentlemen, give me an opportunity to thank them for getting me to Hahnemann as quickly as they did," said Hewett.

Hewett said he was told by a doctor he was the first Amtrak victim to be brought to Hahnemann University Hospital, but the last to be discharged.

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Video from Chopper 6 shows the aftermath of the crash of Amtrak 188.

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newsphiladelphia newsamtrak train crashNorth Philadelphia
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