Woman survives being hit by train in East Deer
An elderly East Deer woman was in a Pittsburgh hospital on Thursday after her arm was struck by a freight train as she tried to run across the railroad tracks before it arrived.
“I thought I could make it,” Shirley Helman, reportedly told East Deer police.
Police said she was walking from the Sheetz gas station, along the 800 block of Freeport Road, to her home at Front Street almost directly across the street. The railroad tracks run perpendicular to the two.
She almost completed the mad dash, but the Norfolk Southern train struck her left arm.
An East Deer ambulance took Helman to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh where she was initially listed in serious condition.
Mike Dunmire, of the 300 block of Freeport Road, was standing outside the Rainy Day Learning Center in the township's Creighton neighborhood when he heard the train, which was heading toward Pittsburgh.
“A woman with white hair ran across the tracks like she was trying to beat it,” he said. “She's lucky she didn't trip, or the train would've been on top of her.
“I thought she had made it until I saw her white sneakers,” Dunmire said.
Dunmire and another man ran across the street to help.
“She was still holding her debit card,” Dunmire said. “Her head was on the rocks, so I took my T-shirt, folded it up, and put it under her head.”
An East Deer ambulance crew was less than 50 yards away and an A-K Pulsar paramedic responded.
East Deer police Chief John Manchini said witnesses heard the train crew sounding the horn several times before approaching the short access road leading to Front Street.
“She told me she thought she could run across before the train passed,” Manchini said.
“I asked her why she didn't wait. It was only a 10-car train.”
The chief said, “She didn't say much.”
Manchini said he knows of four or five vehicles that pulled into the path of trains along Freeport Road in Creighton in recent years.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man found dead in Lower Burrell
- Springdale family lifted ‘from embers to embrace’
- Allegheny Valley board candidates hold Colfax Elementary fate
- Indiana Township couple face illegal prescription charges
- Long-awaited bridge expected to be completed in June
- Drainage problems believed root of Ridge Road collapse in Harmar
- CMU astronomer lectures to Highlands students about space in pilot program
- Leechburg man held for trial in fatal wreck
- Gas industry, rural character top Winfield candidates’ list
- Driver of pickup truck dies following crash into New Kensington house