GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Emergency crews were on the scene of a collision between a train and a vehicle early Thursday morning in Gaston County.
Police told Channel 9 that the SUV became hung up on the track crossing on Receiving Street around 6:45 a.m.
WATCH: Train collides with SUV in Gaston Co.
Authorities told Channel 9 that a good Samaritan heard the train approaching the SUV while the female driver was still in it. The driver was identified as Terry Lynch, 56.
Juan Campbell stopped to help her.
“I could hear the horn in the distance. So I knew a train was somewhere, but how close I didn't know,” said Juan Campbell.
Seconds later he saw the lights of the train.
“We had to leave. We had to go,” he said.
He said Lynch didn't want to leave her possessions on the track.
RAW VIDEO: Aftermath of train slamming into SUV in Gaston Co.
Campbell said she didn't understand the urgency of the moment.
He said the woman was convinced that she needed to stay with that SUV. He said he reached in, pulled her out, and helped persuade her to leave just before the train came.
“Twenty seconds after getting her out of the vehicle was seen the vehicle get struck by the train,” Campbell said.
He said he was so close that vibrations from the crash rattled in his chest.
“Just the impact of the train against the vehicle. You can just feel it,” he said.
Police said Lynch suffered some minor injuries while getting off the tracks.
The 4,600-ton train pushed the SUV about a quarter of a mile.
The engineer had to push it even farther down the tracks so a wrecker could haul it away.
Police said Campbell saved Lynch's life.
“I was placed somewhere where God put me at that time and I did what I was supposed to do,” he said.