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Video Released: Memorial Day Minivan Train Crash>

Police have released video of a freight train just before it collided with a minivan on Memorial Day.
/ Source: WTMJ-TV and JSOnline.com

Police have released video of a freight train just before it collided with a minivan on Memorial Day.

ELM GROVE – Police have released squad car dash cam video of the Memorial Day crash that nearly killed a mother and son.

On the video, a freight train is seen quickly approaching an intersection, brakes screeching and horn blasting. After the locomotive leaves the camera’s view, there is a loud thud. It is the sound of the train colliding with a minivan trapped on the tracks. The collision seriously injured Officer John Krahn and Scott Partenfelder. They tried to pry Scott's toddler, Mackale, from his car seat. “Squealing of the train brakes. that was the last thing I heard,” Partenfelder told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. “When I hear a train whistle, it brings back that day very vividly.” Information from a black box type data recorder in the locomotive reveals the train was traveling 45 miles per hour when it crashed into the Partenfelder minivan in this intersection. The State Patrol released the data in their investigation report opened to the public this week. Scott's wife Monica believes her son survived because he was still secured in his car seat during the hit. “I think most importantly is using it properly each and every time,” said Monica. “God definitely played a big part in helping our whole family that day and my son.” Mackale celebrated his second birthday in June. Britax,the car seat's manufacturer,found the Partenfelder's story so incredible that they sent a representative from North Carolina to donate 20 of their high-end safety seats at ceremony Tuesday. Britax donated 10 Chaperone infant carriers to Children’s Health Education Center in the name of the Partenfelder family and 10 Advocate CS convertible car seats to Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition in honor of Krahn. The car seats will go to families in need. “At least 80% of car seats are installed and used incorrectly,” said Britax Safety Advocate Sarah Tilton. The company is even using the family in this You Tube testimonial. Officer Krahn remains off duty. His initial injuries were so severe that doctors initially gave him a slim chance of survival. He is recovering at home and is still unable to walk. Families are encouraged to visit www.chw.org/carseats for a schedule of upcoming car seat check events in their community. Or, schedule an appointment at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Booster and Car Seat Clinic by calling (414) 607-5280 locally or (877) 607-5280 toll-free. Certified car seat technicians will install the car seat as well as provide instruction on car seat installation and use. The Elm Grove Police Department is expected to decide this week if Monica Partenfelder should be cited for driving onto the tracks in heavy traffic. Cars were parking for the Memorial Day parade when the accident occurred.