A Saddle Brook woman whose apparently disabled car was captured on police dashcam video being smashed by an Amtrak train had been drinking and driving, police said.
It was 11:57 p.m. Tuesday when West Windsor police said they found the 2012 Toyota Camry's passenger side over the rail on the westbound Amtrak tracks near the Princeton Junction train station.
The driver, 23-year-old Amna S. Ahmed, was out of the vehicle and with her father and sister, who’d arrived to help, authorities said.
A camera on the dashboard of one of the responding officer’s cruisers captured the moment that Amtrak’s #639 train slammed into the sedan as the officers and Ahmed took cover behind a building along the tracks, Lt. Mark Lee said.
The impact sent the Toyota crashing into the cruiser, Lee said.
It also “sent heavy debris flying toward the area where our officers had just been standing,” the lieutenant said.
Ahmed’s family’s BMW sustained some damage after being “pelted by a shower of debris,” he added.
The train sustained heavy damage to its engine and several trailing cars.
“Although the debris field was extensive and sent with such incredible force, no one was struck and there were no reported injuries due to the quick actions of our officers,” Lee said. "It's an absolute miracle no one was hurt.”
Police took Amna to headquarters after determining that she was intoxicated, the lieutenant said.
She was issued summonses for DWI and reckless driving and released to her family pending a Municipal Court appearance.
Amtrak officials, in a statement said, in part: “This is a critical reminder about the importance of exercising caution around railroad tracks and crossings.”
ALSO SEE: Authorities charged an 18-year-old mechanic from Saddle Brook with calling in bomb threats to Bergen Community College on Monday and a business in town last month -- neither of which they said ultimately were considered genuine.
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