Monday, June 18, 2007


When Elyria Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics responded to a call of a car on the tracks this morning they weren’t aware of what they were in for.

Elyria Fire Department Captain Donofrio said that when Firefighters arrived on scene they first checked with the Elyria Police Officers to see if the railroad had been contacted. “The Officers said that they had and we had our dispatch contact them again to make sure that the railroads were contacted again to shut the tracks down because we had a car on the second set of tracks and our dispatcher had indicated that he had done that. In the process of placing the victims in C-Collars, while still in the vehicle so we didn’t cause any further injury, a train was spotted coming around the corner. We quickly got the victims out, literally just seconds before the train struck the vehicle.”

Capt. Donofrio tells us that a Firefighter was actually inside the car when the train was spotted bearing down on them. “We had a Firefighter physically inside the car holding C-Spine when the call went out that a train was coming and we gotta move.”

In his 17 years Capt. Donofrio said that although he has been to many crashes involving trains he has never witnessed anything like this before. “Everybody was scrambling to get the victims to safety and we were probably only 10 to 15 feet away from the car at the point of impact. That is how close it was. It’s not the way you want to start a shift but in this business you have to be ready for anything.”
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