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Woman pulled from car moments before train strikes it

Three men pulled a drunken woman from her car as it sat on railroad tracks in Chesterton, Ind., moments before a freight train destroyed the vehicle, officials say.

Justin Jeffress, 27, of Chesterton, said he was driving south on Calumet Road around 3 a.m. Wednesday with two friends when they came across a Honda Accord in the middle of the road, near railroad tracks.

“We pulled alongside of it and started honking the horn,” Jeffress said.

The driver, later identified as Courtney Althoff, 24, of Michigan City, was slumped over the wheel, Jeffress said.

The three men turned to see a train coming down the tracks.

Jeffress and his friends — Dustin Paliga, 22, and Kyle Hodgson, 27, both of Chesterton — ran to the car. Paliga got there first and pulled Althoff out of the car.

Police arrested Althoff for drunken driving. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.25 percent, police said.

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