Driver Rescued Moments Before Metra Train Strikes Car in Lombard

on Jan16

16 January 2019 | 4:31 am

Good Samaritans helped pull an elderly driver out of her vehicle seconds before the car was hit by a Metra train in suburban Lombard this week, authorities said. 

Just before 8:30 p.m., the driver, identified as 96-year-old Antionette Lazarra, mistakenly drove onto the tracks near Grace Street and St. Charles Road, according to Metra.

Stephen Spapperi, 19, was driving northbound on Grace Street, approaching the intersection, when he saw Lazarra’s car lose control. 

Behind him, 24-year-old Justin Mueller also saw what happened.

Driver Rescued Moments Before Metra Train Strikes Car

Driver Rescued Moments Before Metra Train Strikes Car

“So we like pulled past and I see this like old lady,” Spapperi told NBC 5. “I see gray hair and she’s struggling to get out of the car.”

The two, with Lombard Police Officer Dan Herrera following behind them, helped Lazarra out of her vehicle and off the tracks.

“We started to walk her out of the car and she’s an elderly lady was not walking that fast,” Herrera said. “Steve was actually the first one to kind of pick her up.” 

Driver Rescued Moments Before Metra Train Strikes Car in Lombard

[CHI] Driver Rescued Moments Before Metra Train Strikes Car in Lombard

“We just picked her up and we just got out of there like 10 seconds before the car got hit,” Spapperi said. 

Soon after, an Elburn-bound No. 65 train rammed into the unoccupied car, Metra said.

No one was injured, the village’s statement read. Lombard police said Lazarra was treated at the scene by paramedics and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for observation after appearing disoriented. 

“It’s nice to know that we still have people that act when others are in need,” Lombard Police Chief Roy Newton said of the two witnesses Tuesday. “I truly believe that they helped save a life this day. These are both Lombard residents and I’m very proud of our town. Lombard is a community that cares about its neighbors and that’s evident with this situation.”

Lazarra’s family posted on Facebook that the grandmother’s rescuers are “heroes.”

“She is the backbone of our family and we couldn’t imagine our lives without her,” the post read. 



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