BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (WTHR) – An engineer thought he killed two people who dropped down on the railroad tracks right in front of his train, but in what some are calling a miracle, they survived.
The close call was caught on video.
From the train’s security camera, it looked like their final moments.
“Now you see the two subjects here. They’re frankly running for their lives at this point in time,” said Eric Powell with Indiana Railroad.
Powell says the incident happened earlier this month on the 80-foot high Indiana Railroad bridge northeast of Bloomington at Lake Lemon just after sunrise. He says people sometimes follow a trail up to the railroad bridge, where they trespass onto the bridge. There are no walkways on the bridge, because no one is supposed to be walking there.
The only things on the bridge are trains and danger.
“It’s private property. You should not be there,” Powell said. “It’s dangerous, but it’s easy for people to get on the tracks and walk on there.”
At one point in the video, Powell points out a burst of air when the engineer applied his emergency brakes.
The 100-car coal train is making every effort to stop, Powell said. The two women have almost no good choices, since jumping from the tracks would have meant serious injuries, or maybe even death.
“One almost trips and falls off the bridge,” Powell says, narrating the video. “The other one, miraculously, gets down.”
The train’s engine was across the bridge before it stopped.
“The engineer threw the train into emergency braking as soon as possible. He had thought he had killed the two people here on this bridge,” Powell said.
But incredibly, they were alive.
“When the trains topped, the two women crawled out from under the engine, started running this way,” Powell said. “He yelled back and asked them, ‘Are you okay?’ One yelled she had stubbed her toe, (but was) otherwise fine. I’m sure their nerves were as shattered as his were.”
Indiana Railroad says the women have been identified and will be prosecuted for criminal trespass. It wants to send a message to others.