What to Know
- Dashcam video from a West Windsor PD patrol car captured the moment an Amtrak train slammed into an alleged drunk driver's car on track
- The harrowing event began when police responded to a report of a disabled car on tracks beneath the Route 64 Bridge in Princeton Junction
- Disabled 2012 Toyota Camry had been driven by Amna Ahmed, who was at scene when police arrived; she was charged with DWI, reckless driving
Dashcam video from a West Windsor Police Department patrol car captured the moment an Amtrak train slammed into an alleged drunk driver's car stuck on the tracks Tuesday night.
The harrowing event began when police responded to a report of a disabled car on the west bound train tracks beneath the Route 64 Bridge at the Princeton Junction Station, just north of Washington Road shortly before midnight.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
The disabled 2012 Toyota Camry had been driven by 23-year-old Amna Ahmed, who was at the scene when police arrived, Lee said, adding that on an access road next to the train tracks was another vehicle, a white BMW, that was occupied by Ahmed’s father and sister, who arrived to help her.
According to Lt. Mark Lee of the West Windsor Police Department, police dispatch began to make notifications to stop all train traffic due to the Camry being on a track and people in close proximity to the train tracks.
While the car was still on the track a West Bound Amtrak Train #639 was seen approaching at a high rate of speed. Seeing the train making its way to where they were, two officers took Ahmed and found cover behind a building along the tracks, while her sister and father, who were still in the BMW, moved further away from the impact zone.
Another officer ran for cover behind the concrete bridge abutment as the train struck the Camry -- sending heavy debris flying toward the area of the officers, according to Lee.
The impact demolished the Camry, which was sent directly into one of the patrol cars resulting in "extensive damage." The other patrol car and the BMW sustained "moderate damage after being pelted by a shower of debris from the Toyota," police said.
The train also sustained heavy damage to a number of its train cars.
"It's an absolute miracle no one was hurt," Lee said.
Dashcam video of the incident shared by the West Windsor Police Department depicts the train impacting the car, sending it flying into the vehicle equipped with the dashcam. While no one was hurt in the incident, viewer discretion is advised.
The impact and subsequent aftermath disrupted train traffic for about three hours, police say.
Ahmed was ultimately charged with reckless driving and DWI. Attorney information was not immediately known.
Lee said that the harrowing event showcases the bravery and "the incredible job" by the three officers who responded to the scene and "were in harm's way."
"We couldn't be any prouder of our officers," Lee added.
In a statement to News 4, Amtrak said there were no reported injuries from passengers on board or the crew.
"This is a critical reminder about the importance of exercising caution around railroad tracks and crossings. Amtrak continues to work closely with Operation Lifesaver (OLI) to communicate these dangers," Amtrak's statement reads in part.