GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The school bus and train collision that happened Friday brought back haunting memories for a woman who survived her own encounter with a train years ago.

Trisha Allen said she believed Friday’s accident and her own could’ve been prevented if there had been crossing arms at both railroad crossings.

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“It needs to be mandatory,” said Allen. “That something needs to look into the process of how can we get this done. It needs to be in every city, county, state to make sure that nobody’s life is lost.”

Twenty years ago, Allen was in a Tyler neighborhood when she drove over a crossing and heard a train. When she looked over, it was already too late.

“All I could hear was the train horn blowing,” said Allen. “It took my car and turned me upside down with a huge impact on me and landed in this ditch.”

She said the front part of her car was clipped by the train and flipped.

She couldn’t move, but luckily some people who lived nearby were able to rescue her. Allen was rushed to the hospital that day.

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“It just lets me know I’m still here, I’m still here,” said Allen. “I have a purpose in life.”

She said she was treated for neck and back injuries, and still deals with them now. Despite it all, she’s thankful to be alive.

“I’m still dealing with this on a daily basis,” said Allen. “When I pass a railroad track it hurts because it reminds me of the pain I went through.”

Since her accident, Allen has been fighting for crossing arms and warning lights at every train crossing.

She said her heart dropped when she heard a young teenager lost his life in Friday’s accident in Athens.

“I thank God for life, said Allen. “I don’t take that for granted and that’s why I give my life to serving others and helping others.”

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Allen said the deadly crash is the reason she will continue to fight.

On their website, Union Pacific reported they don’t decide where warning signs should be.
“The process is governed by a federal program since crossing signals are defined by the Federal Highway Administration as highway control devices, not railroad signals,” said Union Pacific.
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