Two people were injured after a motorist suffered a medical emergency and wound up on railroad tracks in North Hills as an Amtrak train was passing through Friday night, officials said.
A woman driving was driving west down Roscoe Boulevard around 9 p.m. when she began suffering a medical emergency, according to Officer Tony Im with the Los Angeles Police Department.
She began weaving around the roadway near the intersection with Havenhurst Avenue, and slammed into one of the railroad gate at the Roscoe Boulevard crossing before landing on the tracks just as the arms were dropping with an Amtrak train was closing in, investigators said.
A concerned citizen had been following the car believing its driver was under the influence of alcohol and called 911, Im said.
Stefan Zeljkovic said he was driving down Woodley Avenue when he noticed a motorist whose head kept dropping. The driver was unresponsive and on the wrong side of the road as Zeljkovic tried to get his attention, he said.
With the train closing in, Zeljkovic and others in his vehicle jumped out of their car and worked to rescue the imperiled vehicle's occupants.
"So we found a pipe laying on the floor, busted the window open, dragged him out of the car," Zeljkovic said. "This poor lady tried helping as well. And when the train hit the whole metal piece came down and hit both of them in the head and they both fell down. If we were five seconds later, he would have been dead."
Police had attempted to stop the train but were unsuccessful, Im said.
It did strike the car, but the Los Angeles Fire Department said both its occupants were in fair condition and did not require extrication. Both victims were transported to the Northridge Medical Center around 9:25 p.m.
No additional details were released on the circumstances of medical emergency the woman was suffering.
Footage from the scene showed significant damage to both the front and rear ends of the sedan.
No passengers or crew members on the Amtrak train were injured, according to Marc Maglieri, a public information officer for the rail service.
The train, No. 796, was traveling south from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles and was able to continue on to its destination, Maglieri said.
KTLA's Nidia Becerra and Matt Phillips contributed to this report.