Woman from The Woodlands was on NYC train that derailed

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by Brad Woodard / KHOU 11 News & AP

Associated Press

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 7:26 PM

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Three Houston-area women were among the 150 passengers on board a New York City commuter train that derailed over the weekend.

Sherill Patton, from The Woodlands, traveled to New York with two Houston friends to attend her 30-year high school reunion.

They were riding the Metro-North when it rounded a bend where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet. It derailed, toppling seven cars just inches from the water.

Four people were killed in the crash and more than 60 were injured.

Patton and her friends walked away with bruises.

"Her and her two girlfriends were banged up pretty bad," said Thomas Patton, Sherill’s husband.

Patton managed to call her husband from the scene to let him know she was OK.

"She’s upset. There was a lady who died in the car she was in," Thomas Patton said. "She was in the third car almost gone into the river, and she’s just sort of traumatized."

Patton told her husband that passengers knew something was wrong as the speeding train approached a curve.

"There was a passenger in front of her who said, ‘The train is going too fast,’" Thomas Patton said. "He braced himself, and they braced themselves before the accident. The outcome was they were able to walk away."

They were right. The NTSB said Monday the train was going 82 mph as it approached the 30 mph zone.

The train’s engineer told investigators he tried to slow down, but the brakes failed.

It’s expected to take at least 10 days to determine whether the crash was the result of human or mechanical failure.

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