Woman remains in critical condition after van is struck by train - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Woman remains in critical condition after van is struck by train

OTIS ORCHARDS, Wash. - A 44-year-old Otis Orchards woman is still in critical condition after her 1998 Dodge Caravan was struck broadside by a Union Pacific Railroad engine Tuesday morning.

Authorities say the Union Pacific engine was running backward to Idaho to do switching chores and was not pulling any railroad cars when the collision occurred. The engine was traveling about 48 miles per hour when it struck the Maria Walsh's van in the passenger-side doors.

Walsh suffered severe internal bleeding and head trauma in the collision and her spine was fractured, though authorities say Walsh is able to move her arms and legs.

Officials have confirmed a cell phone was not to blame for the collision as it was tucked in her purse and no incoming or outgoing calls or text messages were recorded at the time of the collision.

Officials say Walsh does suffer from depression, however they are still investigating whether her depression played a role in the collision.

Walsh's family confirmed her depression, though they said she was having a good week with the upcoming holidays and that the family was celebrating a child's fourth birthday.

Authorities are now looking to Walsh's van for answers and say markings on the van may reveal more on the collision. If there are scrapes on the side of the van, authorities say that would mean the van was moving at the time of the collision. If there are no scrapes, it's possible Walsh's van was stationary when the train struck it.

The collision happened as the train engine was crossing Arden rd. south of Wellesley.

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