WEBER COUNTY, Utah – Two men in Weber County likely saved a life after they pulled an intoxicated woman out of her car moments before it was struck by a train Sunday morning.
“I still kind of hear the crunch, and I guess just the panic of it all just going through my mind a bunch of times,” Jon Smith said.
Jon Smith and Colton Clark said they hadn’t planned to be driving past the railroad tracks Sunday morning, but just after 1 a.m. something happened.
“Just got this gut feeling that, you know, we need to go down this road,” Clark said.
The two did so, and they saw a car stuck on the tracks with a woman in the driver’s seat.
“Seen her parked here, her head was on the steering wheel, so we're like, ‘That's kind of out of place,’” Jon Smith said.
Deputies say the woman, who was intoxicated, had turned onto the tracks thinking they were a road, and that’s when she got stuck.
“Got stuck here, and then her tire was, I’m pretty sure there was a hole right here in this spot, and so she couldn't even move,” Smith said.
Clark said the woman didn’t want to get out of the car, even though it was on the railroad tracks.
“She didn't want to get out the car, she was just delirious just sitting there,” Clark said.
But then something happened that spurred the men into further action.
“We look down the tracks, and here comes a train coming, so I open up the door,” Clark said.
Smith said they felt the urgency as the crossing arms started to go down.
“Just grabbed her arm, 'Get out of the car, just go,'” Clark recalled.
The three rushed away from the tracks.
“I started moving her back and it got closer and it started blaring its horn,” Smith said.
The train struck the car they had just pulled the woman from, and it hit while going between 40 and 50 mph.
“And then just a boom, and then a bunch of crunching noises, and that was it,” Smith said.
The car spun several times, scattering fragments all over the tracks.
“I honestly think she probably would not have made it through that,” Smith said, noting the violent force involved in the crash.
Sgt. Matt Jensen of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office agreed.
“They were just in the right place at the right time, for them to show up: definitely, probably, saved her life,” Jensen said.
Deputies say the woman had a blood alcohol content close to three times the legal limit of .08.
The men say the conductor of the train ran over to the scene after the crash and told them he didn’t see the car on the tracks in time to stop.
The woman who was rescued is now facing DUI charges.