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ROME, Ga -- A mother and her daughter escaped injury when they jumped from their car moments before a train hit it. The woman abandoned the car in the middle of the railroad tracks after it broke down.

PHOTO GALLERY | Car hit by train

Laterica Finley and her four year old daughter Rayniah were crossing the tracks on 12th Street near Cedar Avenue in South Rome Sunday when it happened.

"The car just jerked," Finley said. "And I got out and looked around." Finley noticed her front axle was broken. "I thought someone hit me, but my front tire was under the vehicle."

Finley said several people tried to help her move the car but it wouldn't't budge off the tracks. Then she heard someone yelling. "And then you could hear somebody keep yelling, 'there's a train coming'," she said.

The train seemed far off when Finley said she realized her daughter was still in the back seat. Concern turned to panic when Finley started fumbling to get her daughter out of her car seat. "She was trying to help me get her out, and I was trying to help get her out and it seemed like my fingers were shaking," Finley said.

Eventually she got her daughter out of the seat and they ran across the street to safety. When they turned back the impact of the train with her car was overwhelming. "I was watching the car and all I was thinking was Lord, that could have been me and my baby in that car," Finley said. "But it wasn't and I thank
God for that."

Finley said it all seemed like a dream until she picked up her Monday morning paper and saw a picture of her demolished car on the front page. "I can't replace my kids, but I can replace that car," she said.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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