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S.C. Officer Saves Woman from Speeding Train

October 18, 2007  | 

A veteran Greer, S.C., patrol officer's quick reaction saved a confused motorist from certain death earlier this week.

Officer Marcus O'Shields has made a habit of meeting every night with a counterpart from the Greenville-Spartanburg airport police to exchange information.

Tuesday shortly after midnight, O'Shields went to the meeting place near the Norfolk-Southern tracks along Highway 60. From this position, he spotted a car driven by Betsy Devall stopped on the tracks.

In-car video from O'Shields' patrol unit shows that it took him nearly 90 seconds to persuade Devall to get out of her car. She was reportedly on her phone trying to get directions to a friend's house when she became confused and drove out onto the track. O'Shields pulled her from the car and to safety just 17 seconds before the train struck her car. The impact dragged the car down the track where it burst into flames.

The Crescent Line train was headed north and had just left Greenville depot with 180 passengers. It was running at more than 70 mph when it struck Devall's car.

Three passengers on the train were treated for minor injuries. No charges have been filed.

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