Mother watched two children flung forward during MAX train derailment
TriMet said only one person was hurt, suffering minor injuries, after a train derailed near Lloyd Center on Friday afternoon. Another woman, a mother, contacted KATU News to say her small children were also hurt in the accident.
"It started feeling like it was a truck on gravel," Chelsea Gutierrez said.
But she was on the train.
"It was just bumpy, really, really bumpy" Gutierrez said.
Moments later the max car Gutierrez was riding in with her children came to a hard stop, off the tracks.
"I saw her fling forward and I heard what I thought was her head hitting. But when I looked at her it didn't look like she had any red marks," Gutierrez explained.
Her one-year old daughter, Freeda, was strapped in her stroller. Her three-year old son, Landon, was standing near her holding on to a railing. The impact threw Landon face first into the floor. Chelsea was also standing, but she was able to brace herself upon impact.
"There were so many people on the train compared to what normal because of all the construction going on," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez explained that the emergency doors opened after the train stopped. Passengers got out. And, she started walking away with Landon and Freeda in tow.
Within an hour of the accident Gutierrez said noticed bruises on both kids' faces.
"My daughter had been crying upon, like when the accident happened. But I thought it just scared her," Gutierrez explained.
She immediately took Landon and Freeda to the emergency room. Doctors said they'll be OK, but Gutierrez has to watch them for concussion symptoms.
"I have to spend the next 24 to 48 hours waking them up every two hours in the night to make sure there's no swelling, no vomiting," Gutierrez said.
And while she checks on her children, she can't get the feeling of the impact out of her mind.
"I keep imagining had the train actually tipped over, I don't know what I would have done," Gutierrez said, "I'm very thankful that nothing worse did happen."
A TriMet spokeswoman told KATU News Reporter Hillary Lake they will look into Gutierrez's report more on Monday. That's also when they expect to have more information about what caused Friday's derailment.