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Train Hits Car, Injuring Colo. Teen

November 13, 2002

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) _ A teenager tried to push his girlfriend’s stalled car off a railroad crossing, but he ended up moving the vehicle directly into the path of a train, which crushed it, investigators said.

Maureen Martin, 16, was in critical condition with head injuries Wednesday at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

Martin and Vinny Veruchi, 17, were headed to school in separate cars Tuesday when her vehicle stalled partially on the tracks as the train was approaching.

Martin looked back desperately as the crossing arms came down, and Veruchi stepped on the gas of his car, ramming Martin’s car and trying to push it off the tracks, said police Cpl. Ty Petersen.

``Unfortunately, it didn’t work,″ Petersen said.

The Union Pacific coal train hit Martin’s car broadside, pushing it down the tracks into a concrete guard rail and crushing it.

Emergency crews said Veruchi was devastated.

``He was just sitting on the ground, crying,″ said firefighter Scott McKenna. ``He was visibly shaken up.″

Police Capt. John Anderson said the accident was under investigation, but no charges were imminent.

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