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3-Year-Old Girl Rescued After Crash

July 4, 2000

ST. MARKS, Ind. (AP) _ A tuft of reddish-brown hair alerted a bystander to a girl trapped in a wrecked car, leading to her rescue just before the vehicle went up in flames.

``Please, get me out,″ 3-year-old Raven Padgett said, reaching out from her car seat in a vehicle that had overturned after colliding with a train.

Carla Aders then stepped into the vehicle, unbuckled the car seat and grabbed the girl, carrying her from danger about two minutes before the vehicle went up in flames, said Dubois County Sheriff’s Deputy Forrest Kieser.

``If her hair hadn’t fallen down, nobody would have known she was in there,″ said Aders, 33, a mother of a 5-year-old girl.

Raven, who suffered a cut lip and bumps in the accident Sunday, was treated at a hospital and released.

``I told Ms. Aders that she did something that hopefully everybody would do, but human nature tells you not everyone would do it,″ Kieser said Monday.

The accident occurred just Sunday afternoon at a crossing in this town about 40 miles northeast of Evansville.

The engineer of a freight train hit his emergency brake but could not stop before striking the front passenger side of the car, spinning and flipping the vehicle on its top.

The driver of the car, 33-year-old Roy M. Medbery II _ who was engaged to Raven’s mother _ was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car. He died Sunday night.

Aders was painting a birdbath at her mother’s house when she heard the train whistle blare.

The ordeal left Aders thinking about her own daughter.

``I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet,″ she said. ``It was difficult driving home after that.″

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