MAPLEWOOD • An elderly man attempting to make a right turn at a T intersection turned instead onto railroad tracks, and was pulled to safety by nearby bar patrons moments before a train hit his car.
The accident happened around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Sutton and Greenwood boulevards.
Police did not identify the man. He was headed south on Sutton, near where it dead ends at Greenwood, just across a set of railroad tracks.
"Instead of going across the tracks, he made a right turn onto the tracks and got stuck," said Sgt. David Sinnard, with the Maplewood Police Department. The man was unable to dislodge his Toyota Prius from the tracks. Customers at nearby Foley's Bar and Grill saw the car on the tracks with a Norfolk Southern train approaching.
The bar patrons pulled the man from his car before the train struck the vehicle, pushing it about a quarter of a mile toward the overpass at Big Bend Boulevard, Sinnard said.
Sinnard said the man, who appeared to be in his early to mid-70s, was shaken up but uninjured.
Sinnard said a backhoe had to be used to clear the car from the tracks. The man who drove onto the tracks was not ticketed.