Woman stuck on train tracks rescued by good Samaritan moments before crash in Port Huron

Driver didn’t know she was on tracks, didn’t see train coming

An extraordinary rescue occurred in Port Huron when a good Samaritan helped a woman trapped on the train tracks to safety.

PORT HURON, Mich. – An extraordinary rescue occurred in Port Huron this week when a good Samaritan helped a woman trapped on the train tracks to safety.

All Patty James wanted to do Monday night was take her daughter’s car to the gas station to fill it up for her. James was on her way to gas up her daughter’s SUV on the night of Monday, Oct. 17, when she crossed the train tracks near Griswold and Range roads.

A force of habit, she glanced in both directions as she drove over them and spied a car half on and half off the tracks. The car had no interior or exterior lights on, and then she saw the train barreling toward it in the distance.

James made a split-second decision and ran over the rocks and up the embankment to see if anyone was inside, and unbeknownst to her, there was a woman bent over her phone.

“I started screaming at her there’s a train coming, and she had no idea,” James said. “She got out of the car, and I said, ‘Let’s go.’”

Seconds later, the car was pulverized by the train.

It turns out the woman inside had an accelerator problem and had lost control of her car and spun out into the tracks.

Because of how her car was positioned, she had no idea she was on train tracks. The woman was trying to find a tow truck and insurance information when James threw open her door and told her to come with her, trying to get her far enough away in case the car exploded.

James told Local 4 she didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. The woman she saved told Local 4 she does and thinks James is an angel.

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.