ACE train passengers describe terrifying derailment

- We are hearing from some of the passengers onboard the ACE train that derailed in Sunol. There were 214 passengers on the train, with nine people taken to the hospital. Four of the victims suffered critical injuries.

The passengers who escaped injury were taken Monday night to the Alameda County Fairgrounds, where they met up with family members relieved that their loved ones were okay.

The passengers were then bussed to their final destinations.

A Sheriff's Sergeant said it was a miracle that no one died, when the first rail car went into Alameda Creek.

Passengers from other cars rushed to the injured to provide aid.

“I’m still a little in shock,” said Gina Coomber, who was in the accident. “Our train derailed and everybody's going to be fine and that's nothing short of a miracle,” she said.  

She had gotten off work at a bank in San Jose and was riding the ACE train home to Livermore.

"There was a slam. The car jumped to the right then it slammed back towards the left and it slammed back again. And you just knew something was wrong," said Coomber. She says she tried to stay calm.

"I was just praying and holding on for dear life. I had no idea what was happening. I just knew this wasn't right," said Coomber.

Victims were taken to Washington Hospital in Fremont and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

One patient who went to Washington Hospital was released, while another person remained at the hospital Tuesday morning, listed in good condition.

"It felt like someone slammed the brakes," said Kathy Heilmann, passenger.

Another passenger, Warner Seele, recalls the impact of the derailment being so violent that his laptop flew across the train car. He added that he remembers everyone in the immediate aftermath being helpful to one another. When Seele saw a man lying in water, he encouraged him to get up. 

An ACE train spokesman says the transit agency is committed to getting to the bottom of the derailment, and they're going to make sure the passengers stay informed.

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