A Holocaust survivor and a South Florida woman are sharing their story after she captured the frightening moments when he was saved from an oncoming train, Tuesday night.
Police said 93-year-old Henry Flescher was heading westbound on Ives Dairy Road in Aventura when he made a wrong turn onto the train tracks near West Dixie Highway, at around 7:20 p.m.
“I made the quick curve too fast, on the side there,” said Flescher, “because it’s very dark there.”
All of a sudden, his vehicle’s wheels became stuck on the tracks as a Florida East Coast freight train heading northbound was fast approaching.
“And then the train is coming, and I couldn’t get out,” said Flescher.
Natalie Grant was sitting in her car feet away from Flescher. When she saw what was happening, she took out her iPhone and began recording.
She said other good Samaritans pulled Flescher out of the car in the nick of time. “Honestly, it was insane,” she said.
Grant typed “OMG!” over the dramatic footage showing the train nearing Flescher’s sedan. “‘OMG’ means ‘oh, my gosh,’ like, ‘what is going on?’” she said.
Seconds later, the deafening sound of crunching metal drowned out the train’s horn. “The train just came and smashed right into the car,” said Grant. “I saw the car literally slide right in front of my car.”
Grant said she felt grateful to be in the right place, at the right time. “It was literally about one or two minutes [after] he was pulled out of the car that the train came,” she said. “It was definitely a miracle that he was pulled out in time and definitely a miracle for me as well that I didn’t get my car damaged.”
Grant attributes this close call’s happy outcome to a higher power. “I definitely think God was looking out,” she said. “It wasn’t [Henry’s] time yet. He still has more work to do on Earth.”
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue transported Flescher to an area hospital where he has been evaluated and released.
Flescher, who survived internment at multiple concentration camps during World War II, expressed his gratitude for those who came to his rescue. “I’m a survivor so far. I’ve survived a lot of things,” he said. “I’m very active, thank God. I’m doing things, and it pays back.”
Grant said she was glad to have shot the video so that everyone can witness what she calls a miracle. “When you watch the video — I’ve showed some of my friends, and when they watch the video, it’s just crazy to see the impact of how hard the train hit the car,” said Grant. “I just thank God that he was able to be pulled out in time.”
Police temporarily shut down Ives Dairy Road due to the accident.
Flescher’s car was totaled and was later towed from the scene.