The sole survivor of a crash involving a train and a van in Colorado reportedly woke up asking for her mother.
Steve and Christina Miller were in the family van with their four kids on June 26 around 10:00 a.m. when it was hit by the Southwest Chief Amtrak train traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles. None of the train’s passengers or crew were physically harmed, but the impact killed both parents and three children, 6-year-old Abigail, 2-year-old Kathryn, and 8-month-old Ellianna.
"The only thing I saw was a child’s car seat headrest on the ground," one witness told KDVR.
Witnesses said the family tried to stop the vehicle, but it was too late. There was reportedly no crossing gate at the intersection.
Relatives rushed to help as soon as they heard the family affected in the crash were in a silver minivan.
"We were reasonably sure it was them because they weren’t answering their phones and it was the right vehicle description," explained Keith Schlabach, Steve’s cousin.
Four-year-old Heidi was the only survivor. She was taken to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, where she was visited by relatives. She suffered from a minor head injury and some broken bones in her hand but is otherwise in stable physical condition, according to the family. However, as the sole survivor of a tragic accident, her loved ones are concerned about the 4-year-old’s emotional and psychological well-being.
"She is alert and awake and obviously asking for her mother," said Pastor Cary Nelson of the First Christian Church of Trinidad, who was in a Bible Study with Steve, told KCNC.
"She was old enough to understand what happened and she realized what happened," Schlabach told KDVR.
According to friends and family, the Millers were on their way to church when the van crossed in front of the train.
"It rips a little hole in you it really does," Nelson said. "[Steve was] very Christian, he’s a gentleman, loves the Lord Jesus, loves his family, and is a very hard worker."
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. As of June 28, over 640 people have donated, giving over $48,000 towards the family’s $50,000 goal.