Sunday, 10/8/2017, was another very emotional day. Lee and I were first hand witnesses to a very dangerous train collision with a limo bus filled with passengers.
This accident happened as we were having a nice day visiting wineries in Napa Valley. Driving along our right side was the famous Napa Valley Wine Train, an experience we nearly purchased for ourselves. As the train was nearly directly next to us, it started blaring it’s horn and we noticed that a limo bus was driving towards the railroad track crossing. These tracks were over top of a driveway to another local winery. From our perspective, it appeared as if the limo driver was completely oblivious to the train, even with the blaring horn, He kept inching the limo more and more forward, placing the limo exactly in the middle of the train tracks. We both thought he was going to slam on the gas any second and fly forward, for which he was clear without impeding cars, but instead, he hopped out probably 3 seconds before impact and thought it would be useful to put his hands up in the air and signal to the train conductor to stop. And that train slammed into the limo hard, slowing to a stop after many feet. It was to my disappointment that we saw passengers rushing out of the limo only after the impact, not a single one exited before. Lee and I immediately came to a stop, got out, and assisted with any injuries or trama. Only one woman appeared to be injured and in shock. A large part of her shin was missing, exposing lots of bone. Lee talked with her and told her to take a seat and elevate her leg, which she did. I consoled others, one woman who began sobbing in my arms. The police arrived not more than 5-7 minutes later and to my surprise and disappointment, not a single person immediately informed him of the woman who needed medical attention but instead only wanted to argue and grip about who’s to blame. Once the police officer grabbed his medical bag, we gave him our phone number to call for any questions, then got out of his way and left. The ambulances and firetrucks arrived only minutes after we left.
Lee and I both were in a state of shock ourselves. For the rest of the day this was constantly on our minds. We talked over and over, took a break because it was depressing, then found ourselves talking more about it. For me, the most shocking part was that these passengers didn’t show any gratefulness that they were alive and safe. They only cursed, complained, and shot videos on their phone about how “messed up this is and ruined their day”. I didn’t hear any person say “At least we’re alive” or “Thank God we didn’t get hurt”. That really stuck with me. If that train was pulling a hundred cars instead of a few passenger cars, it would’ve pushed that limo bus hundreds of feet before coming to a stop. Who knows if the passengers would’ve made it our alive then.
So what can we all take away from today: We don’t need a near-death experience to be grateful for life. We should be thanking God everyday for keeping us safe from the unknown, and living our days to honor Him and getting the most out of life.
That last link posted above is from a drive-by video only minutes after the accident. The video clearly shows myself walking and Lee there on-scene.