A good Samaritan pulled an elderly Merced woman out of a car before it was hit by a train Monday night, police said.
Atwater police officers responded to reports of a vehicle stuck on the train tracks at 8:19 p.m. at East Bellevue Road and Santa Fe Drive, according to Atwater police.
When officers arrived, a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train had already struck the vehicle. But they were notified that the 74-year-old female driver was helped out of the car by a Good Samaritan before the train hit.
The driver then told officers she had been traveling west on Santa Fe Drive and attempted to make a left on East Bellevue Road. But she missed the road and centered on the tracks.
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Atwater Police Chief Samuel Joseph said if it weren't for the Good Samaritan, the collision "would have ended in tragedy."