By Reg Chapman

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota man’s instinct to help overrode his instinct to get out of harm’s way when he put himself on a collision course with a fast-moving train.

Terry Wangen said he was crossing the rail road track near 119th and Northdale Boulevard in Coon Rapids late Saturday night when he noticed a car, stopped on the tracks

“About 50 yards up … it was just sitting there no lights or anything,” he said. “I was just going to turn and just kind of keep going and I pulled over and I just decided, well I gotta do something.”

Wangen turned his van around and drove on this gravel road next to the tracks.

“The right hand wheels were over the track and was heading up in that direction,” he recalled. “I just tried shifting it into gear and sure enough the tires just spun on it.”

So Wangen used his van to help move the car.

“I tired pushing him off the tracks and the next thing is I’m stuck on the tracks,” he said.

Both cars were now on the tracks, and a train was fast approaching.

“The train came so fast that I had all I could do to try to run and get out of the way just keep yelling at the guy ‘Hey we got to get out of the way,'” Wangen said.

The man that Wangen was trying to help didn’t move fast enough.

“The next thing you know he’s airborne,” recalled Wangen. “It smashed his car into mine.”

Car parts littered the area 50 feet from the point of impact, all the way to this spot where one of the cars landed. The Good Samaritan had no idea the danger he had gotten himself into.

Looking at what’s left behind, Wangen said he feels lucky that he was able to help someone in their time of need and live to tell about it.

“I’m counting my blessings, absolutely, that’s the bottom line. I feel glad to be alive.”

The driver of the car, identified as Mikhail Levchuk, was taken to this hospital. He suffered from minor injuries to his leg and forehead. Investigators said they believe think he’d been drinking.

Comments (8)
  1. tom says:

    sounds russian, did they find his vodka

  2. Jonas says:

    at Tom,
    Do people like you ever have anything positive to say. My god, a man risked his life to help a fellow human being and rather than praise his efforts all you can do is cite the other guy’s ethnic background and drinking preference. Just can’t effing believe it.

  3. Factman says:

    Im confused, how did he help the guy? He should have gotten him out of the car, instead he failed to move his car or move the guy resulting in the same outcome as if he never arrived, epic fail.

  4. Jeff says:

    @jonas…climb out of your ivory tower moron….first , there is no god so stop using it as a crutch. Second, plain and simple, ALL Russian are vodka swilling alcoholics, look it up.

    1. ladyluck says:

      speaking of MORON, it takes one to know one!
      It’s just like saying everyone named Jeff is a CRACK head, get a life.

  5. idiocracy says:

    I don’t know what you’re all talking about. Since you are posting on an internet website you must all be drugged up alcoholics with mental disorders.

    Tom- your comment is just mean. It’s not witty or funny and it’s barely relevant.

    Jeff- Using “My god” does not indicate religious belief. It doesn’t matter what your stereotype of russians is… I bet they have a similar stereotype for us… But, I’ll bet it’s an opinion that’s shared with most of the world. How’s that? The world believes you are a moron. Two guys on the internet vs the world. woo!

    and everyone named Jeff is a crack head.

  6. Just another Crackhead says:

    I didn’t think Tom’s comment was really THAT bad…

  7. MeWho Whoknows says:

    I think it’s great that we have good people in this world. We will see what kind off comments you will make when you or your love ones need help.

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