(Doyline, Louisiana – May 16, 2020)
A 51-year-old Minden, LA grandmother was being posthumously hailed as a hero after she tried valiantly to save her two grandchildren who were trapped after her 1997 Chevrolet Blazer stalled on Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks at LA Highway 163 in Doyline, LA Saturday night. The vehicle was subsequently struck by a KCS freight train while it was stalled on the tracks.
The grandmother, Rebecca Woodard, was killed in the collision. Her vehicle stalled on the tracks which carry a daily average of 20 KCS trains at a maximum allowable speed of 59 mph. Her older grandchild and she were trying to push the vehicle off the tracks while the grandmother’s two-year-old grandchild was still in the vehicle strapped in his car seat. As Woodard tried to free the toddler, her disabled vehicle was smashed by the oncoming train. While her elder grandchild was uninjured, the younger sustained serious injuries. Woodard was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health Hospital in Shreveport, LA, where she was admitted with life-threatening injuries. Sadly, she passed away from those crash-inflicted injuries before noon Monday.
“As far as I’m concerned, she’s a hero. She didn’t leave that child,” Doyline Police Chief Robert Hayden told KTBS-TV News Channel 3 in Shreveport.
It was not known at this time if crossing surface conditions contributed to the SUV stalling on the rails. However, the crossing was equipped with both flashing lights and crossing gates, but neither had activated prior to the Blazer becoming stalled on the tracks.