A good Samaritan pulled an elderly Merced woman out of a car before it was hit by a train Monday night, police said.
Atwater police officers responded to reports of a vehicle stuck on the train tracks at 8:19 p.m. at East Bellevue Road and Santa Fe Drive, according to Atwater police.
When officers arrived, a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train had already struck the vehicle. But they were notified that the 74-year-old female driver was helped out of the car by a Good Samaritan before the train hit.
The driver then told officers she had been traveling west on Santa Fe Drive and attempted to make a left on East Bellevue Road. But she missed the road and centered on the tracks.
Atwater Police Chief Samuel Joseph said if it weren't for the Good Samaritan, the collision "would have ended in tragedy."