RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Authorities Sunday were investigating a deadly railroad accident that claimed the life of a 33-year-old mother.

The accident at the Mary Street/Brockton Avenue grade crossing occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

The victim, identified by a coroner’s official as Susan Dibene, was pushing her toddler across the tracks in a stroller when the wheels of that baby stroller apparently got stuck.

Rita Garcia, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, confirmed that the crossing arms did come down and the warning lights were flashing at the time. According to witnesses, Dibene was frantic at the time, but managed to push the stroller out of harm’s way.

“I just came from the store and I was walking and all I saw was the baby getting out of the railroad tracks and what I did was just get the baby, get her in the sidewalk, because I didn’t want her to get hit by other cars,” Sandra Castillo, a witness, said.

The child, 2, was unharmed. Her name is Paris Belle.

There were at least 60 passengers on board the train en route from Oceanside headed toward San Bernardino at the time of the collision.

Officials and representatives from a freight company, along with police and Metrolink officials were conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

On Sunday evening, KCAL9’s Rita Garcia spoke to Susan Dibene’s ex-husband.

The couple was married for three years. They’ve been separated for a year, but he vowed to wear his wedding ring until the divorce was finalized.

He praised his ex for helping save their daughter. He also knows, while his daughter is young, she definitely knows something is wrong. “She kept saying, ‘the train, the train…mommy pushing me.’ That’s all she could communicate. So at that point, I knew she was…aware of something.”

Garcia also said she spoke to Dibene’s mother, but she was too distraught to appear on camera. She did say her daughter had a passion for photography.

» Metrolink Train Fatally Strikes Mom Pushing Stroller In Riverside

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (9)
  1. wow says:

    Tragic, but why didn’t the mother just pick the baby up out of the stroller, and leave the stroller on the tracks?

    1. cloudnine says:

      Exactly what I was thinking…don’t get it..

  2. Give me a break says:

    Another story called the mother a hero for saving her child. Rather, what a stupid, risk walking across train tracks without looking both ways. Trains don’t just appear out of nowhere. Now this child will grow up without a mother.

  3. Amanda says:

    is it possible that she wanted to commit suicide with her baby but in the last minute she changed her mind and pushed the baby out of harm’s way?

    1. Karen says:

      I don’t know Amanda. I hear a divorce was in the works and I just can not imagine being so stupid to push a stroller onto the tracks when the gate is down and the lights are flashing. That is why I have a tendency to agree with you.

  4. Karen says:

    It is absolutely selfish when people commit suicide and get others involved if that was the case here. Sometimes people pull guns on the police so they will be shot. That is just selfish. Why get other people involved in your drama?

  5. Southpaw says:

    I agree. It’s tragic, but what the hell was she doing out at night with a 2-yr. old who should’ve been in bed (in the first place). And she didn’t hear a train coming at all…really? She just blindly crossed over some tracks?

  6. PSYCH0LETTE says:


  7. DUI Bum says:

    1. The crazy dead mother is not a hero
    2. She almost killed her daughter
    3. Test for METH
    4. Test for Meth
    5. She is not a hero
    6. Why did she try to cross when a train was approaching

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