Four car passengers survive train collision in Tosa

Oct. 9, 2009

Two women and two children in a car struck by a train in Wauwatosa appeared to have survived the crash without injury, according to a witness who went to their aid.

A white Chrysler Pacifica was northbound on N. 70th St. when it stopped for a light at State St., said Mark Rowbottom, who was setting up a tailgate party for the Wauwatosa East homecoming game at nearby Hart Park about 3:30 p.m.

"The train was laying on the horn and not letting up so we looked and saw the car on the tracks," Rowbottom said. "She must have panicked because she had plenty of time to back up or get out the car."

He said it was almost surreal to watch the westbound train, trying to brake, just smash into the Pacifica.

He said the train violently clipped off the front of the car, and pushed it east, but that somehow, none of the passengers were hurt.

"Everybody was shook up, but they're all fine, miraculously," he said.

Rowbottom said there were two mothers and their children, a 10-year-old boy and a 7-month-old girl, in the car.

Officials at the Wauwatosa Fire Department said they had trucks at the scene right away but hadn't gotten reports in from the field yet.

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