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Woman makes U-turn on tracks, gets stuck, car struck by UP train
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The collision crumpled the car and separated the engine from the rest of the vehicle. - photo by HIME ROMERO

A 32-car Union Pacific freight train crashed into a 2001 Honda stuck on the tracks at the Austin Road crossing at 10:30 p.m. Saturday right after the motorist fled to safety.

Manteca Police Sergeant Wayne Miller said that Miriam Guzman, 72, was returning to her Stockton home after visiting relatives in the Manteca area. He said she had made a right turn from Moffat onto Austin and realized she had gone the wrong way.

Miller explained that when she made a U-turn on the tracks her front wheel went off the concrete apron and became lodged in the dirt. The sergeant said the engineer said he could see the vehicle on the tracks and braked his train as much as possible before the impact.

The engine dragged the car some 30 feet before the car flipped over and rolled another 70 feet upside down, he said.

Two Manteca motorcycle traffic officers, who had been assisting the Ripon Police Department with its Saturday night DUI check point on Jack Tone Road, responded to the train versus car emergency call, finding no injuries in the crash.

Miller said the train’s engine had only moderate damage to the cowcatcher and to an air hose with some scraping to a grain car.