HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - At Houston’s METRO Rail crossings, where trains, cars and pedestrians all intersect, traffic signals are key.
"Nothing is more important than paying attention because we're talking about life," said Vera Bumpers chief of METRO police.
One wrong move and it could cost you. Just ask the driver of the Toyota that got smashed by a train last month.
“She was hit because she was trying to run the red light,” Bumpers said.
It was the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 21. The train hammered the passenger’s side, dragging the car and then pushing it into a pole.
Newly released video shows the impact from several angles. The result: the car was practically cut in two.
Somehow, the driver escaped with non-life-threatening injuries, first responders said.
"We're thankful for that," stressed Bumpers, who hopes this serves as a teaching moment. "You should be aware of your surroundings and make sure you're focused and paying attention."
Look at the lights and signals, but also listen for the train's horn, Bumpers said.
METRO is stepping up traffic enforcement efforts around the train, especially near the medical center.
The woman in the Toyota was fortunate. The next crash could be worse.