A race to beat the train ends in five deaths

Posted Jul 16, 2009 by Cynthia Trowbridge
Last Thursday as the black Ford Fusion raced down Hannan Road in Canton Michigan an Amtrak train was quickly approaching the crossing. The gates were down and the train's horn was blaring. A white SUV was already stopped behind the gate.
Photo courtesy of Amtrak
Dan Broughton the 19-year-old driver had four friends in the car with him---Jessica Sadler, 14, of Wayne; her boyfriend, Eddie Gross, 17, of Taylor; Sean Harris, 19, of Taylor, and his brother Terrence Harris, 21, of Stafford, Va.
Josh McFadden who witnessed the scene said the Fusion slowed down behind the SUV and then quickly whipped around it and through the gates.
McFadden said, “I was like, ‘Oh my God, is he going to try to beat this train? You can't beat an Amtrak.”
Unfortunately the Fusion did not beat the train. McFaddne heard a load boom when the train hit the car.
McFadden said from the time he looked up when he heard the train until the train smashed into the car was no longer than five seconds.
The friends and family of the teens said Broughton was in a hurry to get to work and to get Jessica Sadler home as her mother had told her to come home.
Broughton should never have been driving as his driver's license was suspended.
At a service in New Baptist Bethel Church in Detroit the last funeral was held for those killed in the crash.
There was an estimated 1,300 people who turned out for the funeral for the Harris brothers Sean,19 and Terrence, 21.
The mourners were told by Rev. Robert Smith Jr.,"Death is part of life. Our purpose is to bring comfort to the family."
Tuesday was the funeral for Broughton at Voran Funeral Home in Taylor.
The funeral for Gross was held at Howe-Peterson Funeral Home also in Taylor.
The funeral for the youngest teen, 14-year-old Jessica Sadler was held Wed. at the Howe-Peterson Funeral Home in Taylor. Her white casket was surrounded by many floral arrangements.