Man hit by train: 'It just ripped my arm off'

Man hit by train: 'It just ripped my arm off'

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- KEPR got a chance to speak with Sam Frank, the sole survivor of last week's train accident in Kennewick.

Friends tell Sam more than 150 people came out to Mindy's funeral this past weekend.

Doctors say he will have to spend at least another month in the hospital.

It is unclear whether he will be able to keep his arm.

Sam's girlfriend was killed when she was hit by a train near Volland and Canal.

Sam can't believe it happened at all and many in the community remain shocked the accident couldn't have been prevented.

The accident that killed Mindy Williams and nearly took Sam Frank's arm had many people scratching their heads: how did these two people not hear or feel a train bearing down on them, blowing its horn, as they sat on the tracks smoking?

"I was sitting more west and she was sitting further away from the train than me. And we were sitting on the tracks and I heard her say, 'Looks like that train's coming. // It didn't even look like the train was moving. It was moving so slow," says Frank.

But it wasn't slow. It was moments away from hitting them.

"By the time I realized what was happening, The train had passed."

Sam describes the scene just matter of factly: they just didn't hear it. He says he is hard of hearing and so was Mindy.

Sam was able to hear Mindy say the train was coming, but tells us he didn't hear the train itself or even feel its vibration as they sat on the tracks.

Mindy was killed instantly.

Sam's arm took most of the force as he tried to get away.

"It was the side of the train...just ripped my arm off."

Sam searched for Mindy and then headed towards Canal Drive to get help. A man jumped out of his car and rushed over.

"He was taking off his belt. I was saying, make a tourniquet," Sam says.

A week later, Sam is still unsure whether he'll be able to keep his arm. It's reattached now -- but he's not yet out of the woods.

He says his biggest encouragement is the support he's received from the community.

"I have a huge outreach of friends that I never realized I had," he says.

Watch Part 2:  "Losing an arm is nothing compared to losing my best friend in the world"