TAMPA — A 25-year-old Tampa woman was fortunate to be alive Sunday evening after her car struck a train hauling ethanol, Tampa police said.
Railroad crossing gate arms were down when the incident happened at 5:40 p.m., Tampa police Lt. Ronald McMullen said.
The crash happened on Adamo Drive near 26th Street.
McMullen said it was unclear why Kristen R. Brown’s vehicle hit the second or third tanker. She was driving west on Adamo, near the Ikea store.
Brown was taken to a local hospital in stable condition with a broken neck and pelvis, police said.
Her vehicle, however, was unrecognizable.
“It’s an SUV, but it doesn’t look like one,” he said. “It looks like a Tonka toy that somebody smashed.”
The SUV was dragged several hundred yards after impact, McMullen said. There were no passengers in the vehicle.
“A couple of concerned citizens ran down to get her out of the vehicle,” McMullen said. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. For her to have survived is extremely rare.”
McMullen said the tankers were checked for leaks but none were found. He said the woman might have suffered a medical event before the collision.