Driver: GPS directed car into path of train

May 5, 2011 8:57:56 PM PDT
For years, people have complained about the train crossing on West Main Street in Newark.

Surveillance video obtained by Action News shows a CSX train slamming right into a car near the University of Delaware on Thursday.

And this is not the first time.

The driver of the car in this instance, Amy Macchiarelli, tried to make a u-turn in gravel near the tracks. That's when her car got stuck.

Video captured a man jumping out of his truck to try and help her.

Moments later, Macchiarelli heard the train coming.

"I knew, [the car was] gone, so it was just get away, make sure everyone gets away so no one gets hurt," Macchiarelli said.

The driver admits she made a mistake, but she says the accident is not completely her fault because her GPS told her to make the turn.

"Don't listen to your Tom Tom. Tom Tom doesn't know," she said with a laugh.

The video was captured by a camera at Wonderland Records.

Demitri Theodoropoulos who runs the business says in the past three years, he's seen at least a dozen accidents similar to this one.

Action News has also reported some of those crashes including one from two years ago.

In that collision, surveillance video captured a group of students running to the aid of a woman who ended up stuck on the tracks after a wrong turn.

They pulled her to safety just before a train ran down her car.

"There's been people that have barely gotten out of their car in time; they'll get stuck and the gates will come down or the gates are down and they try to cut through," Theodoropoulos said.

Theodoropoulos says CSX should put up extra warning signs or install some type of barrier to keep drivers from turning onto the gravel.

The car Macchiarelli was in, which is now heavily damaged, doesn't even belong to her.

"Well, it's a company car and that's the worst thing you think is, 'oh my God, it's a company car,'" Macchiarelli said.

Even though Macchiarelli's facing a traffic charge, she's just thankful to be alive.