Train Crash Tragedy - How To Get Out Alive

A driver tried to get through a railroad crossing to beat an oncoming train. It is a stomach-churning tragedy that kills 250 people every year at railroad crossings throughout America.  

Just this week came the horrific accident in a New York City suburb that left six dead when a commuter train struck a Mercedes SUV.   

In a call to 911, a person reported: “The train, Metro-North, right at the Valhalla station, past Lakeview just exploded.”
911 Dispatcher: “The train exploded?”
Caller: “Yes. The front car just exploded. People are jumping out of the train!”

Many such accidents are caused by drivers trying to beat the gates. Some find themselves stranded on the tracks.

INSIDE EDITION asked AAA’s Robert Sinclair to show us how to avoid such a tragedy.

He said, "You never want to go around the arms when they are down. Approach very slowly, stop, look, and listen. If you get stuck on the tracks, the gates are down, abandon the vehicle."

Passengers on the New York commuter train left Grand Central Station, the nation’s busiest train station, at 5:45 p.m. They were heading home when the collision took place. Many did not know how to escape.

Citzens outside the fatal train told passengers inside to "Break the glass! Break your glass to open the door!" 

Would you know how to get out alive? INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent has the details.  

Trent said, "We are on a moving train right now, so, what do you do if there is an accident? With me is Scott Sour, he is train expert here on the system in the Philadelphia area. Walk me through some of the basics. What is right behind us right here?"

Sour told Trent, "Inside this compartment is the door control. In an emergency situation and you want to get out in a hurry, follow the instructions [attached to the wall]. You want to open the compartment, press down the red handle, press that down and what that does is that it frees the door that they came in on. They can actually go out through that door, slide it open manually and get off the train."

Trent was then showed what to do if you have to go out through a window.

Sour said, "In the event that you have to go out through the window, you are going to pull on this red handle. When you pull on this red handle and all that rubber gasket is going to come with it. You are going to discard it. It frees up the window and you are able to grab the window by a handle, pull that window in, disguard it, and then you will be able to get out through this window."

INSIDE EDITION continues to learn more about those killed in Tuesday’s accident.

The 49-year-old mom behind the wheel of the Mercedes SUV was Ellen Brody, who worked at a jewelry store in in Chappaqua, New York, where Bill and Hillary Clinton live. It's said to be their favorite jewelry store. One of the lives cut short on the journey home from work.