MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A baby boy is safe at home Tuesday after surviving a run-in with a train.
Anja Bochenski’s 15-month-old son, Henry, was in the back seat when a northbound Northstar train crossing Proctor Avenue and Highway 10 in Elk River struck the car’s passenger side around 7 a.m. Monday. Bochenski had tried to get him out after the car stalled on the tracks, but couldn’t in time.
“It was just sheer terror,” Bochenski said. “Watching that car spin around I thought oh my god, I just have to get to him.”
Bochenski’s car slid in the snow when she tried to stop as the crossing arms came down. She swerved, trying to avoid the tracks, but the car was struck by another vehicle, which pushed her car onto the tracks.
“For some reason, my car just stopped working,” she said. “It was, like, all of a sudden slow motion after that.”
Bochenski saw and heard the 60 mph train coming at her.
“I was putting it into park, reverse, trying to get off the tracks frantically, but it wouldn’t go,” she said. “So I just thought: I have to get to the back and get my son out of there as fast as I can.”
Bochenski crawled out the window to go to the other side of the car where her son was strapped in his car seat in the back seat.
“The train was too close, all I could do was wave and try to get him to stop the train,” she said.
The engineer of the train was slamming on the breaks, doing everything he could do bring it to a stop, but it was too late. Bochenski watched as the train struck the car, sending it spinning off the road with her son still inside.
“I thought, Oh my god, is he OK?” Bochenski said. “Am I going to get to him and he’s dead?”
When it was over, she heard a familiar cry. Henry was alive, still strapped in his car seat.
“He’s perfectly fine, he’s got a little bruise and that’s it,” Bochenski said. “We’re just going to be thankful for the little things, every day.”