Officer saves driver from oncoming train

MAGNOLIA, TX It was a close call, and had the police officer not been in the right place at the right time, the outcome could have been much different.

Cpl. Jose Lopez was coming from another overnight scene in Magnolia when he came across a woman in trouble.

"She was very unstable on her feet," Lopez said.

What he witnessed was also captured on his dashboard camera. He says the 26-year-old driver ran a red light and ran out of the road before striking the tracks. She went airborne, then did a U-turn and tried to cross the tracks again when her vehicle got stuck.

"One minute to get her into my car, the other minute to notify dispatch and with the third minute, the train was already coming, it was too late and there was impact," Lopez said.

The car that the woman was inside minutes before was smashed by the train and dragged about 150 yards down the tracks.

Those who live by the Magnolia tracks heard the noise and feared the worst.

"I heard a bunch of scrubbing and scraping and I was like, 'What is all that ruckus outside?" Magnolia resident Tracy White said.

"My mom said it sounded like the house fell apart or something like that when the train hit the car," Magnolia resident Danny Wood said.

They are proud of the actions of their hometown officer.

"It probably would have been a fatal," White said.

"Pretty epic being able to do that," Wood said.

Lopez says he's just relieved it wasn't worse.

"We didn't lose no life, and that's where we were concerned," he said.

The woman was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a DWI charge. She is OK and back home on bond.

Copyright © 2024 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.