Norwalk woman flees car stuck on tracks just before train slams into it

The 27-year-old mistakenly turned onto the tracks and drove southwest for 110 feet, thinking it was the roadway.
Heather Chapin-Fowler
Aug 16, 2013


A 27-year-old Norwalk woman saved her own life as she jumped from her car that was stuck on the CSX Railroad Tracks just before a train plowed into it.

The woman, who just began a new job in town, mistakenly turned down the tracks headed southwest for 110 feet thinking it was the roadway, according to New London Sgt. Joe Hicks and Chief Mike Marko.

As she realized that she was on the railroad tracks, she attempted to dislodge her Pontiac two-door sedan, but it was stuck on the tracks. "She did everything she could," Marko said.

Seeing the train barrel toward her, the woman jumped out of the car. The accident was called in to the Huron County Sheriff's emergency line at 9:05 p.m., said Marko and Hicks.

As reality set in after seeing how badly damaged her car was the woman started to become upset, but handled the situation very well under the circumstances, Marko said.

"She was very apologetic. We assured her we were just happy no one was hurt or killed," Marko said.

Eric Jagusch, CSX Road Foreman, shared Marko's sentiments. "I'm just glad (the vehicle) wasn't occupied," Jagusch said.

No charges will be filed in the incident. "We're not going to add insult to injury," Marko said.

The woman told police she had just got off work and was headed to North Fairfield when the accident occurred.

Both police officers arrived within seconds of the emergency dispatch call while the car was still in the path of the train, but it was too late to do anything but watch as the train engineer tried to stop.

"We were kind of helpless. We both pulled up and saw the car get hit," Marko said.

The train pushed the sedan about 170 feet down the tracks, leaving debris in its path.

The train tracks remained closed after 11 p.m. as the accident scene was investigated and cleaned up.


Now The Rest of...

Must have been a blond moment, she could have career as a politician or newspaper reporter.


Glad she is okay. Now she might be a better driver & not hurt someone else.

North Fairfield

As a former CSX employee (P.D.) the railroad is regulated by the Federal Government but we do have the authority to write under the O.R.C.
Not every crime on rail property falls under or has to be written under a federal statute, we do have discretion. For instance a simple theft or trespass can be written under the O.R.C.
As far as accidents on property, normally the city or village handle them even with injury. We can assist if asked.


Get a life

North Fairfield

A few unknown facts about the "Railroad Police": They are appointed by the Governor, attend a state sponsored police academy to enforce the laws of the State of Ohio (Ohio Revised Code) have jurisdiction on rail property and commissioned similar to a city officer.
Since some on this forum seem to be critical of "facts", please look up the above mentioned information.
Also happy to see this young lady was not injured regardless of what happened!

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Thanks North Fairfield for the accurate information.


I know her and she neither stupid / drunk or on any thing she go's to school and works very hard she was just down on her luck

Scranton Tibbs

"down on her luck". That has got to be the dumbest excuse I have ever heard. Nice job Dan Yoder, you make us lol.

God Of Thunder

Nice job Jackie... What a clumsy fool.. Pay a little more attention to the road and not to the voices in your head..


No charges filed...absolutely amazing.

Scranton Tibbs

How are no charges filed? Slide off an icy road by accident and you'll have a "failure to control" ticket in your hands before they get the car outta the ditch. Apparently driving down the tracks is OK. Still don't understand how this happens. Gotta be the dumbest broad on the planet. Oh, that's right...."down on her luck." Love the excuses people make.