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Driver Survives Train Collision

March 30, 1999

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) _ Shrieking with fear, a young woman whose car was being dragged by a freight train frantically used her cellular phone to call her mother and 911.

``Mom! Mom! I need help,″ 20-year-old Amber Scott screamed Monday.

But the battery on the phone was cutting in and out, and she couldn’t be sure if she was actually talking to her mom or the answering machine.

She called 911 and screamed: ``I’m being dragged ... by a train! Oh, please help!″ But, unsure whether she was being understood over the roar of the Conrail freight going at 30 mph, Ms. Scott hunkered down in her seat, afraid the car might roll over.

``I just waited,″ she said Tuesday. ``I prayed the whole time.″

In seven terrifying minutes, Ms. Scott’s car was dragged four miles before it apparently hit a railroad sign and was knocked loose from the train. She suffered little more than a concussion, a sore back and bumps and bruises.

``I feel like it was a miracle,″ Ms. Scott said.

Sheriff’s Maj. Ron Richardson said: ``She was very, very lucky.″

Ms. Scott had been headed to classes at Ball State University in Muncie when she was rear-ended by a pickup truck and pushed under a middle car of the moving train. Conrail spokesman Ron Hildebrand said the crew couldn’t see Ms. Scott and didn’t know a car had become trapped.

She said she thought briefly about trying to roll out her passenger-side door but decided against it when she saw how fast the train was going.

Two 17-year-old boys who knew Ms. Scott from high school heard the commotion from the wreck and followed the trail of debris, eventually finding a bleeding Ms. Scott standing near her mangled car.

``It looked like the person that was in it should have been dead,″ said one of the teens, Mike Imel.

They called Ms. Scott’s mother, who immediately went to find her daughter.

``You know there had to be arms around her,″ Patricia Scott said. ``There has to be a plan.″

The pickup’s driver was cited for having no insurance.

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