Friday, May 29, 2009

The Heroes of Elm Grove

Around 9:30 AM, Monday, Monica Ensley-Partenfelder was headed to the annual Elm Grove Memorial Day parade with her 2-year-old son when her worst nightmare became a reality. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper with everyone headed to the parade grounds. Ensley-Partenfelder stopped on the railroad tracks and tried to react when she saw a 94-car freight train headed directly for her mini-van. Her wheels turned, but were stuck on the track. When the van finally did move, it flipped and faced the train.

A police officer, John Krahn, originally assigned to parade duty, witnessed the event. He sprinted to the scene and pulled the woman from the van just as her husband, who had been following in another vehicle, tried to undo the straps to the car seat. The train struck the mini-van before Scott Partenfelder could remove the toddler.

The force of the impact created an explosive effect, tossing the crushed mini-van onto the grass like a crumpled paper. The two men were thrown aside by the force of the collision. The car seat kept the 2-year-old boy safe from any injury. Krahn and Partenfelder underwent surgery. By Monday night, the officer was listed in satisfactory condition, but the heroic father was in critical condition.

I haven’t heard an update on either men’s status. If you have, please share. My thoughts go out to their families.


  1. My gosh, I thought this was fictional piece...I hope the newws will be good.

  2. I hope you'll let us know what happens. That's so crazy. Thank goodness they didn't get the child out of his seat though. In the end, that saved him. Unless they would have gotten him out quicker... ;-( Very sad for the mom.

  3. I still haven't found an update on their condition. I'm thinking that's a good thing. If one of them died, I'm sure that would've been in the news.

    Lynnette Labelle