PHILADELPHIA -- The wailing of sirens called Father Tom Higgins
from his parish rectory and Sisters Linda Lukiewski and Julie Sertsch from their convent to the scene of the Amtrak train derailment the evening of May 12.
Meanwhile, Father Higgins, also mystified by the persistent sirens, heard the same news report, and realizing he was now the closest priest to the scene he decided to drive over.
Pastor at Holy Innocents Parish
in the Juniata Park section of Philadelphia
, the priest could only drive halfway to the crash site before hitting roadblocks, so he
walked the rest of the way.
It was chaotic when he
arrived as close as he
A police officer directed him to a spot where some passengers whose injuries did not require immediate transportation to a hospital were to be placed on buses to be taken to a triage point, in this case the nearby Webster Public School
went to the school and found Sisters Linda and Julie
were already there, assisting as best they could.
was able to talk to some of the families and comfort them.