A scene straight out of an action movie played out in real life on an 80-foot high railroad bridge outside Bloomington, Ind., on July 10: Two women on the Shuffle Creek trestle tried to outrun an approaching freight train, and one appears to consider jumping, before lying down on the middle of the tracks at the last second.
The women survived and fled to a nearby vehicle, but they have been identified by police and could face charges, according to TheIndyChannel.com.
The Indiana Rail Road Co. released footage recorded by a camera on the train, in part to serve as a warning to future would-be trespassers.
“These women were very lucky,” said Indiana Rail Road spokesman Eric Powell. “But the engineer was pretty shaken up. He thought he killed two people.”
The engineer applied an emergency brake when he spotted the women, but it was too late to prevent rolling over them. He then alerted local officials.
Powell said Indiana Rail Road is relatively small, at 500 miles of track, but reports trespassing incidents about once a week.
“This is something railroad personnel deal with all the time, and we thought it was time to show people what can happen,” he said.
Trespassing is a property crime in most states.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 892 railroad trespassing deaths and injuries reported in 2013. On average, there are more than 400 trespassing fatalities each year, according to the FRA, making it the leading cause of rail-related deaths in the United States.