Twenty-eight-year-old Katie Wenszell from Milwaukee had been holidaying with her mother and sisters in Atlanta when she was grievously injured trying to save her mother from being hit by a train.
The women had been at a MARTA station waiting for the train on Sunday, August 19, when a man on the platform seemingly pushed 58-year-old Susan Wenszell onto the tracks as the train approached, knocking her unconscious. Her daughter quickly jumped onto the tracks to save her.
While Katie was able to move her mother out of the way of the train, she was unable to get herself out of the way of the oncoming train in time, and the train was coming too fast for anyone to pull her to safety. Witnesses shared with Fox News that they were amazed to see her emerge from under the train alive.
“I saw her legs dangling, and she was crying for mercy…. It’s sickening,” one witness told the outlet. “So she gets dragged a good little distance. For about 10 minutes, we’re sitting there, not knowing if she’s dead or alive.”
Caution: Some may find the video below disturbing.
She and her mother were both rushed to the hospital, where Susan was lucky enough to come away from the ordeal with a concussion, a hairline fracture, and a fractured elbow. She was released from the hospital a short time later. Katie’s injuries were far more serious and extensive.
Along with a brain injury, she needs to undergo facial reconstruction surgery. Part of her right foot also had to be amputated, and her left shoulder was torn off. She remains in critical condition in the hospital, but her father has praised her for her quick action to save her mother.
“Had she not done that, my wife would be coming home in a funeral box,” father Jerry Wenszell said, adding that he felt his daughter was “a hero in every sense of the word.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the medical costs for Katie as she starts on her long road to recovery.
The man who pushed Susan onto the tracks has been identified as 28-year-old Christopher Patrick Brooklin. He has been taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault and battery.
Witnesses on the platform have said he started punching people without any immediately apparent motive.
“We were downstairs and a man just started punching people, just going crazy…. He was punching everybody, he hit the girl in the back of the head for no reason,” Aiesha Bowden told CBS News.
“I literally pray this guy’s soul is literally saved. The only thing I want is to have him off the streets so that somebody else doesn’t end up becoming a victim,” Jerry said to WSB-TV.
There is no indication that Brooklin knew Susan. Police are yet to determine the cause of his actions but have stated he appears to have “some diminished mental capacity,” according to ABC News.