Survivor describes train crash: "The scariest moments of my life"

Dennis O'Neill is one of the survivors of Sunday's train derailment in New York City.

"Actually, I’m just feeling pretty lucky, to tell you the truth," said O’Neill.

O’Neill boarded the Metro-North train at 7:02 a.m., heading to a trade show in New York. Eighteen minutes later, he realized something was wrong.

He said he didn't feel the train braking.

"I could feel the car lean and it flopped

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"I could feel the car lean and it flopped over hard," O'Neill said.
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over hard. And as we were sliding down a lot of windows are blown out, a lot of dirt blown up. At this point there's nothing to do but cover up. And there was enough time to think those bad thoughts, you know, like this could be it," he said.
O'Neill said those few seconds were "the scariest moments of my life."

O’Neill remembers hearing people crying for help. He found his iPad and his cellphone and dialed 911. Then he called his wife, Maureen. They had just celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving. They have three children.

“I don’t know if I’ve processed it all. I've started processing it. had some weak moments since yesterday, when I got in the car with my son,” O’Neill said, choking up. "I was just happy to see him. We hugged."

O'Neill says he will head to New York City on Tuesday morning to check out that trade show he missed Sunday. But he said he does not plan on taking the train.

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.