The "close encounter" of Steve Newman and Laurie Hutchinson

When Steve woke up the morning of August 6 , 1999, he had no idea of how this day would unfold or how he and his friend would have a close encounter with tons of moving steel and be snatched from the grip of death itself.

Steve, a Windsor, Ontario native, was on his way with Laurie to see her brother for a visit. Steve and Laurie , both confined to wheelchairs, used the GANATCHO TRAIL bicycle path to travel to the brothers house. By travelling on the path, they were avoiding the danger of heavy traffic on main streets and intersections'. Little beknown to them, they were heading into deeper danger.

The bicycle trail intersects with a train track and as they approached the train track, they had to navigate up the hill ,over the track and back down again to get to the other side. While crossing the train track, the wheels on Steve's wheelchair became lodged in the railroad ties and he was unable to free himself. After being stuck on the track for about 5 minutes, Steve ,while looking straight down the track, could see the approaching train. In sheer panic and fright Steve became frozen and speechless. Laurie, who was also on the track and facing in a different direction than Steve, had no idea that the train was approaching or that Steve was wedged in the tracks. When Laurie finally realized that Steve was trapped and that a train was coming, she tried to get help but realized that she herself had become lodged in the rails and ties!

Meanwhile the engineer and brakeman of the train had spotted Steve and Laurie A kilometre away (approx 1/2 mile) and applied the brakes. You can't stop a train moving 80 kmh (50 mph) "on a dime" and when the train finally stopped, it was after it had dragged Steve more than 5 metres (15 feet), and hit Laurie and threw her off of the track. Steve was almost completely under the front of the engine as he was being dragged, but he would survive without any broken bones! After 2 weeks in the hospital and some morphine for pain, Steve would emerge from the hospital, to tell this story, which was also reported by local newspapers and media. Laurie, because she was thrown clear of the train, only spent a few hours in the hospital.

Steve said that the Lord sent "HEAVY DUTY GUARDIAN ANGELS" to save them. I BELIEVE HIM.

Thank you GOD!

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