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2 rescue nun before train strikes car on tracks

January 18, 2010 9:16:01 PM PST
A nun's car stalled in the path of an oncoming Amtrak train Monday afternoon in southwest suburban Lemont. Fortunately, the nun was rescued, thanks to a couple of brave bystanders.

John and Jason Wojdyla say they were in the right place at the right time Monday, on the roof of a building in downtown Lemont making repairs to an air conditioning unit, when they saw a car hit a fire hydrant, swerve onto the nearby train tracks, and get stuck.

A closer look at the driver, and they saw she was a nun, and that she was trying to drive off the tracks.

"That's when we said, 'Let's get her out right now. She's trying to move the car. There's zero chance of her moving this car. It's not gonna happen,'" said John Wojdyla.

The Wojdylas and another co-worker ran down to the car, and the three men helped her out.

"We got her out of the car, and it was probably maybe three, four steps, and we just heard Amtrak coming. And it was, 'Okay, keep moving!'" John Wojdyla said.

"She wasn't even all the way across the street when a train actually hit the car, and that's when I put my video camera on and taped the car getting smashed," said Jason Wojdyla.

Jason Wojdyla's video shows the Amtrak plowing into the Chevy Malibu, which was pushed at least four football fields before coming to a stop.

The train, coming from San Antonio en route to Chicago, was delayed a few hours while investigators made sure everyone was okay.

As for the nun, the Wojdylas say she was startled but okay and that she thanked them for their help before returning to Mt. Assisi convent nearby.

"She was worried about the car. It was her favorite car. Because nuns all share cars, she felt bad that the car got totaled, but it's a car, and it's replaceable," Jason Wojdyla said.


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