'We were lucky:' Couple who survived Amtrak derailment shares harrowing story
DUPONT, Wash. - There were many harrowing stories of survival from families who walked away from the deadly Amtrak train derailment Monday morning that killed three people.
The impact of the tragedy can be seen all over the faces and bodies of Beverly Heebner, 78 and Charlie Heebner, 79.
The couple was discharged from the hospital Monday night, following the derailment.
"It was like being inside an exploding bomb,” said Charlie Heebner.
What people don't know is how excited the couple were to take the inaugural ride to Portland.
“We knew about this thing. I'd been waiting for it. And we said this is the first run, we're going to ride that first run,” said Charlie Heebner.
However, the first trip for the train changed lives forever.
"All of a sudden it was just crash there it was down the train went like this,” said Beverly Heebner slanting sideways.
The force of the tumbling train tossed the couple across the cabin as metal mangled and glass shattered everywhere.
“After getting myself upright and my legs unfolded, I saw my wife’s legs I reached down and I shook one and she shook it back. I said, ‘Oh boy you ok?’ and she said, ‘I think so.’”
The couple had to crawl out the train, thankful to walk away with their lives in a scene that looked a nightmare.
“There was this body lying there,” said Beverly Heebner. “I mean he hardly had any clothes on the clothes had just been ripped off of him. And he was obviously dead."
In 58 years of marriage, the couple has been on of trains rides, but it’s this short trip, that will forever haunt them.
"I think man we were lucky to be getting out of here alive,” said Charlie Heebener. “Then I decided we're just fortunate not lucky I don't' think luck had anything to do with it."