The actions of a mother in Woodstock kept an unfortunate incident from becoming a tragedy.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, Kelly Maloney was driving southbound on Wilson Street in Woodstock with her two children as passengers. Her car stalled on the on the railway tracks a few blocks south of downtown.

“My car stopped running, stopped working, and I was trying to push the pedal to get it to go,” Maloney told CTV.

With the car stuck on the tracks and a freight train fast approaching, Maloney abandoned the car and got her two children, aged five and 14, away from the tracks.

The drivers of other vehicles, witnessing what was happening, moved their vehicles as far from the scene as they could.

Fourteen-year-old son Noah Maloney said he saw the railway crossing arm start to lower.

“I looked over and saw the things coming down. I got freaked out, and then I looked and there was the train,” he said.

Seconds later, the train collided with Maloney’s car, crushing it into a irreparable state.

“We watched the whole thing, the car spin out,” said Kelly.

Police estimate the train was travelling at approximately 45 km/h at the time of the crash, and credit Kelly for her quick thinking.

“She remained calm, did what she had to do, got her children out, didn’t panic,” said Const. Steve McEwen.

“It could have been a terrible tragedy. If no one would have got out of there, we could have had three seriously [injured] or worse people. Ten days before Christmas, what a tragedy that would have been.”

The street was closed for several hours as the vehicle was removed and a broken railway crossing arm was repaired. The train received only minor damage and was able to continue on its journey.

McEwen says no charges will be laid.