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Sole Survivor Of Train Vs. Van Crash Asking For Her Mother

By Suzanne McCarroll

TRINIDAD, Colo. (CBS4) - The sole survivor of the train vs. van crash that killed her entire family on Sunday morning is asking for her mother.

Heidi Miller is 4 years old. She has broken bones and a head injury. She was flown to Children's Hospital in Aurora after the crash. She is expected to recover but her family is concerned about how she will deal with the loss of her mother, father and three sisters.

Amtrak Trinidad (from KKTV)
(credit: KKTV)

The Colorado State Patrol said the crash occurred on Las Animas County Road 32, approximately three miles north of Trinidad just before 10 a.m. Sunday.

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(credit: CBS)

A van carrying six people -- two adults and four children -- was struck by the Southwest Chief Amtrak train en route from Chicago to Los Angeles. Heidi's parents Steve and Christina Miller, and her three sisters, Abigail, 6, Kathryn, 2, and Ellianna, 8 months, were all killed.

miller family
Abigail, Kathryn, Heidi and Ellianna Miller (credit: GoFundMe)

Pastor Cary Nelson of the 1st Christian Church of Trinidad was in a Bible Study with Steve Miller.

"It rips a little hole in you it really does. He's very Christian, he's a gentleman, loves the Lord Jesus, loves his family, and is a very hard worker," said Nelson.

Relatives are with Heidi at Children's Hospital. They tell CBS4's Suzanne McCarroll, "She is awake and asking for her mother."

They don't know how to explain to her what happened.

miller family
Abigail, Kathryn, Heidi and Ellianna Miller (credit: GoFundMe)

Investigators said the driver of the van failed to yield right of way to the train but that the van wasn't stopped on the tracks. There are many questions about why the vehicle crossed into the path of the train.

The family was headed to church. There were 286 people on board the train. No one on board the train was injured.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help in the aftermath of the crash.

Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.

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