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Scottsdale woman survives deadly train derailment in Missouri

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 01:38:27-04

SCOTTSDALE — A Valley woman survived a train crash and makes it back home. It's been more than two weeks since an Amtrak train derailed in Missouri killing four people and injuring dozens of others.

The woman talked with ABC15.

With such a mangled mess about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City, Samantha McDonald believes she's one of several walking miracles.

"You never think of anything like that ever happening. Then, you are in that situation and looking around trying to figure out how you are going to get out and it is insane,” said McDonald.

She, along with her sister, brother and mother boarded a train in Flagstaff headed for Iowa.

The next day, almost to their destination, the train and a dump truck collided, added McDonald.

"My sister and I, when we hit the dump truck, kind of got pushed forward. Because of that, we were bracing on the seats in front of us,” added McDonald.

McDonald says, since the derailment, she's learned the train was moving 87 miles per hour.

She remembers a lot of shaking and bouncing around, too.

"When the train started to derail, my sister and I looked over at each other. I just saw her close her eyes her eyes and basically praying everything to be okay,” added McDonald.

McDonald says she hit her head on impact as the train landed on its side.

"As the train is lying on its side, turning, it's going 300 yards pass the railroad crossing,” added McDonald.

She remembers what she calls the squeal of metal and a smell.

"You could smell burning. You smelled it when the train was on its side and that is when it got really scary,” added McDonald.

Two weeks later and after a hospital visit, she's getting over a few scrapes and bruises on her head, elbow, knee and hip.