Good Samaritans save DWI suspect from oncoming train in nick of time

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by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

KMOV.com

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 1:54 PM

HOUSTON -- Two Good Samaritans were credited with saving the life of a 19-year-old DWI suspect early Monday morning in Sugar Land, pulling her from her car seconds before it was totaled by a train.

Investigators say Jillian Marie Cruz, 19, was heavily intoxicated when she took a wrong turn southbound on Dairy Ashford at Highway 90. Instead of turning onto Highway 90, she turned too early and started driving west on the train tracks that run parallel to the highway.

“She was sitting right here like nothing would happen, and by this time the train was already on its way,” said Jay Patel, 23, who along with his friend Leslie Lawrence, 24, were driving by at 12:40 a.m. Monday when they saw Cruz in her car that stuck on the tracks. She was still in her driver seat fumbling through the contents of her purse.

“It was obvious that she was definitely intoxicated, like hands down,” said Lawrence.

“Unfortunately by the time we made it back around the bumpers were coming down and the train was coming,” said Patel of the railroad crossing arms at the Dairy Ashford intersection. Patel and Lawrence had parked their car at the corner of the busy highway to run to Cruz’s car.

“I was telling her like, ‘hey, you need to get out of the car,’ and she was like ‘oh, I’m OK.’ And I’m like, ‘no, you really need to come from the car,’” said Lawrence.

“She got her up, got her to the car, and probably about 5 seconds later the train hit the car,” said Patel.

The train crushed the back end of the four-door Acura and tossed it from the tracks creating a debris field of car parts, mascara containers, earrings, and even an eyelash curler.

For the Good Samaritans’ good deed, they didn’t get a thank you. The apparently heavily-intoxicated driver made a break for it before police arrived.

“She just started running down Dairy Ashford,” said Patel.

Police did catch the young driver hiding nearby and booked her into jail for DWI. Police say she also refused to take a breath test.

Meanwhile, Patel and Lawrence are glad the car is the only damage from the early morning scare.

“I’m just happy that she’s OK and hopefully it will be a lesson once she sobers up,” said Lawrence.

Cruz was booked into the Fort Bend County Jail with bond set at $500.

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