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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Woman's lucky escape from train
Grab of video showing a train hitting a car in South Carolina on Tuesday
Betsy Devall says she did not realise her car was on train tracks

A US woman has had a lucky escape after a police officer persuaded her to leave her car just seconds before it was swept away by an oncoming train.

The incident, at a crossing in Greer, South Carolina, was captured on the police officer's dashboard camera.

On the tape, Sgt Marcus O'Shields is seen urging Betsy Devall to leave her car. Just 30 seconds later, a passenger train ploughed into it.

At least two passengers on board the train suffered minor injuries.

Ms Devall was talking on her mobile phone when Sgt O'Shields spotted her car on the Norfolk Southern tracks along Highway 80 just after midnight on Tuesday (0400 GMT Wednesday).

She told the local WYFF News 4 channel she was lost, and was phoning a friend to get directions. She said she had not realised she had stopped on the train tracks.


On the videotape, a reluctant Ms Devall is seen being taken away from the car by Sgt O'Shields. But she bursts into tears as the train sweeps by, saying: "Thank you, thank you for saving me officer."

Ms Devall's car was reportedly sent flying more than 100m (330 ft).

"You've seen the video," Sgt O'Shields told WYFF.

"It tells the whole story. It's pretty graphic, and we don't see the rest of it, with the car catching on fire on down the track. It gets your nerves going pretty good."

Ms Devall's car was totally destroyed, but she said she was just happy to be alive.

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