Local woman injured in New York train derailment

Sherill Patton survives crash

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A Houston-area woman who was in New York for her high school reunion was aboard the train that derailed Sunday.

"It just seemed like the train was going pretty fast," said Sherill Patton. "It felt like the train car shifted to the left and then slammed down on the right side."

Patton is a probation officer for Harris County and a wife and mother from The Woodlands. She was injured in Sunday's massive train derailment in New York that killed four people.

Patton was in New York with two other friends from Houston, April Miller and Stephanie Blummer.

All three women were headed to see the Statue of Liberty Sunday morning when suddenly the train they were riding jumped the tracks, flipped on its side and slid down an embankment toward the Hudson River.

"I screamed at my two friends that we are going over. I could not believe it, I was in shock," Patton said.

Patton and her friends were rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in New York. They were treated for various injuries and have been released.

Back home in The Woodlands, Patton's husband of 22 years, Thomas, said he got a call from his frantic wife at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, just minutes after crash.

"I just felt panicked," Thomas said. "I can't do anything, stuck here with the kids, and she is there by herself dealing with this and people are dying."

Monday night, Patton will fly back to Houston. She will be reunited with Thomas and her three young children.

Thomas said his wife is bruised and very sore, especially in the chest and ribs area, but she feels incredibly blessed to be able to walk away from this horrific event.

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