Lone survivor of train accident returns to scene for first time

Lone survivor of train accident returns to scene for first time

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- KEPR is continuing to follow the lone survivor of a deadly train accident in Kennewick last fall.

We were the first to speak with Sam Frank now that he's returned home.
 
Sam nearly lost his arm and spent months in recovery. The accident killed his girlfriend. Sam made his way back to the spot where it happened for the first time.
 
Sam Frank calls to his dog, Star, and his late girlfriend, Mindy.
They were all there, sitting on the tracks just three months ago on a late October afternoon.
 
But a train they didn't hear coming, changed their lives forever.
 
"It sounded its horn, which, immediately made me look that way. And by that time, my arm's gone and there's a mile long train going down the thing and I'm sitting there holding my arm, waiting for that ten mile long train to pass by so I could go look for my girlfriend," says Frank.
 
Mindy was killed instantly and he hasn't seen his dog since. She's now being taken care of by someone else.
 
Sam told me he's overwhelmed by the amount of support the community gave him while he was in the hospital.  But he was also upset to hear people thought the couple was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
 
"Me and Mindy were completely stone cold sober when were on these tracks. Lotta rumors...heard a lot of rumors," he says.
 
He says adjusting to life without the use of one of his arms has been one of his biggest challenges.
 
"I have no forearm muscle whatsoever and my bicep muscle isn't working, so I gotta go back for another operation," Frank explained.
 
That will make ten operations so far for the 48-year-old. He says coming back here and paying his respects has been his first priority since the accident.
 
"I guess you could call it facing your fears, but it's really not like that. It's more like becoming your fear, so the fear can't control you," he says.
 
"I'm really not concerned with me. I've already lost the biggest part of me. These are just little pieces now," he added.
 
No legal action has been taken by the train company.
     
There's a benefit concert planned for Sam's and Mindy's families at The Emerald of Siam on February 15th.
 
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