MONROE COUNTY, Ind. — Both women you see running from the train in this video are okay, but you wouldn’t know that just by watching the video. The women were walking on train tracks — or trespassing, to be more clear — on the Shuffle Creek Trestle bridge above Lake Lemon near Bloomington, Indiana when, of course, here comes a train.
Every time you are on train tracks 80 feet in the air on a bridge that runs 500 feet, you should expect a train to come right behind you. Anyone who goes to the movies knows that.
According to the Indiana Rail Road, the women were first spotted as the train rounded a bend but, by that time, there was nowhere for them — or the 14,000-ton locomotive — to go. The engineer applied the emergency brake and began repeatedly blowing the horn as the women ran from the 30-mph locomotive coming at them.
But they couldn’t outrun the train.
Video from the train shows one woman lie down on the tracks, with the other woman running over to her after veering left and nearly falling off the bridge; the train then crosses the point where the women were last seen on video. What the video does not show is that the second woman also decided to lie down, quickly. The engineer, poor guy, assumed he had just killed two people and called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department to report the deaths of two trespassers.
But they weren’t dead. And they weren’t on the train tracks anymore, either.
Both women escaped serious injury by lying between rails on the tracks and letting the train cars pass over them; after the train passed, they rushed to a car and left the scene.
But that’s not all.
Law enforcement authorities have identified the two women and the case is now being investigated as a criminal matter. Remember, train tracks are private property and trespassing can be deadly.
“In this case, not only did two trespassers narrowly escape a horrible death, but had the heavy train derailed due to the emergency brake application – which isn’t uncommon – it could have taken down the bridge, possibly killing the engineer as well. The human, environmental and financial toll would have been enormous,” said Tom Hoback, founder, president and CEO of Indiana Rail Road Company.
According to INRD, more than 900 people were killed in the U.S. last year while trespassing on railroads.