GREER, S.C. – A woman whose car got stuck on railroad tracks was rescued by a police officer moments before an Amtrak train carrying 180 passengers smashed into the vehicle.
"I do think that he was a godsend," Betsy DeVall said in a story published Wednesday in The Greenville News. "I would be in a body bag in a million pieces."
No major injuries were reported.
Greer Police Sgt. Marcus O'Shields said he was parked nearby when saw DeVall turn onto the tracks early Tuesday. DeVall appeared to be lost, and she was on her cell phone trying to get directions to a friend's house, he said.
Another officer told O'Shields by radio that a train was coming, but DeVall could not move the car.
"About the same time is when I heard the train coming and I started to coaxing the driver and telling her we need to get out of the vehicle, we need to get off these tracks," O'Shields told CNN Wednesday. "At first, I don't think she realized what type of danger she was actually in until the train actually struck her vehicle."
Amtrak engineer Scott Lynch was going about 72 mph when he saw tail lights and O'Shields waving a flashlight, according to a police report. Lynch applied the emergency brakes, but could not stop the train in time.
A video from a dashboard camera in O'Shields' cruiser showed DeVall's car bursting into flames as the train pushed it down the tracks.
Two people on the train were treated with oxygen and one person suffered an injured knee, according to Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell.
The train was delayed for 5 1/2 hours, then continued its journey from New Orleans to New York City.