Mother Of Light Rail Victim Doesn’t Blame Operator For Accident

DENVER (CBS4) – There were doubts she would even survive, but a young woman in Denver is alive and fighting through a difficult recovery after being hit by a light rail train.

Laura Triem’s mother and father plan to move to Denver from out of state to help her through her recovery.

Triem’s mother, Mary Chadwick, said she didn’t know if her daughter would be alive by the time she arrived in Denver. She also said her daughter is making tremendous progress at Denver Health Medical Center.

Watch Howard Nathan’s report about Triem on Thanksgiving in the video clip below.

Chadwick wants everyone to know when approaching train tracks, pay attention and don’t do what her daughter did, which was listening to music on her iPod.

“I kept thinking, ‘I brought her into this world, I’m going to be there if she goes out,’ ” Chadwick said. “They’re calling her a miracle.”

Triem still has a long way to go.

“She has a fractured pelvis, broken rib, broken clavicle and some fractures on her spine,” Chadwick said.

The blow to her head by the train at Speer Boulevard and Stout Street required the removal of two pieces of her skull. Speaking will have to wait.

Watch Nathan’s report from Wednesday in the video clip below.

“When her dad came in the room she looked up and she tried to say, ‘Dad,’ (and) realized she couldn’t and she got a little sad. But I told her it’s just temporary,” Chadwick said.

Yet progress continues for the college student her friends say lights up whatever room when she walks in.

“We mentioned family members that she’s always not too fond of and she rolls her eyes, and so she’s got her sense of humor,” Chadwick said.

They’ve tried to tell Triem why she’s in the hospital. It’s unclear if she understands. But her mother knows she made a terrible mistake stepping in front of the train.

“Laura was wearing her iPod and she had the music going; she was distracted. She wasn’t paying attention.”

Chadwick lives in Arizona.

“That was the longest plane ride I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I just wanted to be there to hold her.”

The warmest of hugs will have to wait.

“My wildest dreams I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome. I have my daughter back.”

Chadwick said the light rail operator who accidentally ran into Triem saw her on the sidewalk and had an odd feeling before the collision. But Chadwick does not hold him responsible. She knows it was her daughter who made the mistake.

Chadwick is also grateful to passengers who jumped off the train and stayed with her and prayed until she could be taken to the hospital.

The family has tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills ahead of them. Visit to make a donation.

  • Renee Defibaugh

    I am deaf. No hear.
    I am watching train downtown.
    I am afraid and nervous watch train for acress. Make sure no train come
    I can walking across safe
    before train. I do not want train
    hit me died. At 16th mall and
    Alameda station and 17th and califorina.
    I am be carefully watch train. Sometimes Train can stop me
    walking across downstair on oxford station. But I am
    fear train. If Train start brake go me hit.
    Train wont. I am deaf . Iwill
    become blind and deaf future. I have no dea who will
    help me walking train. I am afraid and nervous across where place or need eating cafeteria. I am fine Rtd bus ok but lightrail is danerous
    YOu need more set up red traffic where place for
    I remember my friend was hit
    train 30 years ago. I missed
    my friend is gone. She was death
    by old Train. She is Deaf person.

    • Mary Chadwick

      I thank you very much for your comment. I have been checking out all of the areas that the light rail runs thru. There is a red light for cars, but not in a persons line of site that is walking. I have had many people contact me about close calls due to a lack of security for pedestrians crossing that area. There are a lot of students in the are that my daughter was hit and they are looking at cell phone,I pods and reading books. I plan to take some kind of action to get better barriers at these crossings. Again Thank you, Mary Chadwick (Laura Triems mom)

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