Orlando firefighters rescue woman, car from oncoming freight train

Stephanie Pile arrested for DUI, resisting arrest

By Erik Sandoval

ORLANDO - Orlando firefighters are being credited with helping to save a woman and her car after they got stuck on railroad tracks in downtown as a freight train approached.

The rescue was captured on cellphone video by Nolan Thompson on Wednesday night.

According to Orlando fire officials, people started banging on the doors to Fire Station 1 at approximately 11:20 p.m.

They told firefighters a woman had driven her car down the railroad tracks next to the station, between Pine Street and Central Avenue, and she got stuck.

Firefighters said they soon realized she had blown two tires, the car's frame was stuck on the tracks and a freight train was approaching the area.

"We had personnel at Central Avenue flashing flashlights at the oncoming train, a freight train, coming towards them as they tried to make this very dramatic rescue," said Deputy Fire Chief Rich Wales.

The cellphone video shows the firefighters hurrying to push the Volkswagen down the tracks to the street, where it was pushed to the side.

According to her arrest affidavit, Orlando police believe 21-year-old Stephanie Pile was behind the wheel of the car when it got stuck, and they believed she had been drinking.

The affidavit indicated she told police she was trying to get back to her apartment near the campus of the University of Central Florida, which was 15 miles away.

She's quoted in the affidavit, "The reason I was driving on the railroad tracks was people were letting me, and I was trying to get home."

Orlando police arrested Pile, and they charged her with driving under the influence, with a blood alcohol level more than .20, and resisting arrest.

The Orlando Fire Department, meantime, is praising the quick action of their firefighters.

"That is what these men and women of the Orlando Fire Department do every day," said Wales. "To have this memorialized in the video like this captured, it makes your ridiculously proud."‚Äč
 

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