Witness describes trying to save victim after car crashes into train

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 9:13 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- One man is dead after his car crashed into a moving train at 25th and Standard Avenue around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Dwayne Martin was standing several blocks away waiting for the train to pass when he saw smoke and flames. He ran down the tracks to help, calling 911 along the way.

“When I get there, I see a man and I told [the 911 dispatcher] there was a car burning with a man inside,” Martin said.

The dispatcher told Martin to stay on the line, but he had other plans.

“I said no, I’m gonna throw the phone in my pocket and try to get this man out of this car,” Martin said.

Martin says the man was not screaming or yelling when he reached him, but seemed dazed and out of it.

“I went over to the car to try to get the door open, but it wouldn’t open,” Martin said. “So, I was like, ‘Give me your hands!’ He gave me his hands, I tried to pull him and I noticed he was stuck in the seat belt.”

Martin tried to reach in the car and undo the seat belt, but he says the fire was too hot. That is when, he says, the man leaned over and caught fire. The Louisville Metro Traffic Unit is investigating what caused the crash.

“At this point, we don’t know a definitive reason why the accident took place,” LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said. “Obviously, we’re in the early stages of gathering what evidence we can to hopefully have a clearer picture of maybe what happened.”

Witnesses say the crossing lights appeared to be working at the time of the crash. The victim has not yet been identified.

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