ATLANTA, Ga. — A young woman from Milwaukee, who threw herself onto train tracks in Atlanta, Georgia to save her mother’s life after her mom was pushed onto the tracks by a stranger is back in the Milwaukee area.
Officials with Paratech Ambulance Service said on social media Tuesday, Sept. 4 they went to Georgia on Labor Day and brought Katie Wenszell home. They said their crew and Wenszell’s brother, Dan, transported Katie to Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls — where she will continue to recover after she was seriously hurt.
They noted that Dan Wenszell works for Paratech, as a “critical care paramedic.”
FOX6 spoke with Katie’s dad, Jerry Wenszell, shortly after this happened.
“It’s been up and down,” said Jerry Wenszell, Katie’s father.
Jerry Wenszell was at home in Wisconsin when it happened. He got a call on Sunday, Aug. 19.
“She said ‘Mom and Katie have been involved in a train accident.’ That’s just not a normal statement. That just isn’t,” said Wenszell.
The women were at Atlanta’s Midtown MARTA station when investigators say Christopher Brooklin, 28, pushed Susan Wenszell onto the tracks.
“Katie seeing this, as an oncoming train is coming, jumped down to move Sue off the tracks,” said Jerry Wenszell.
“She pulled me in between the two rails, and the train rolled over me. All of my injuries came from just being pushed,” Susan Wenszell, 57, told CNN.
The train went over Katie and Susan Wenszell, and Katie was wearing a backpack.
“She was caught and beaten between the railroad tracks and the undercarriage of the vehicle,” said Jerry Wenszell.
Susan Wenszell suffered a concussion and fractures to her elbow and wrist.
But her daughter did not fare as well — suffering facial injuries, broken ribs, a shattered shoulder and crushed foot. The train severed two of her toes.
Susan Wenszell and her five daughters were wrapping up their girls’ trip to the Georgia city from Milwaukee.
“Sunday was our last day,” Susan recalled of that warm August morning in the MARTA rail station. “We had gotten to see everything we came for.”
One of her daughters first noticed a man sprinting down the stairs.
“We just thought he was running to catch the train,” the mother said. “I remember being pushed. That’s all I remember. The rest of it is pretty blurry.”
“Initially you want justice. I don’t want any of his family to have to deal with this,” Susan Wenszell said. “I don’t want people to not go to Atlanta because of this tragedy.”
Katie Wenszell recently earned a master’s degree in education and planned to teach for a year in Beijing.
But that dream is now on hold.
“She’s out of trauma ICU but will have a much longer recovery,” her mom told CNN, adding that she “wishes Katie would not have risked her life.” Still, she isn’t surprised by her daughter’s actions.
“The bond to me — mother to child — is very strong. As a mother, you never want to see your child injured,” said Susan Wenszell.
Her daughter has a long road ahead, and the family has a lot to process.
Her father called her a hero.
“Had she not done that, my wife would be coming home in a funeral box. A hero in every sense of the word,” said Jerry Wenszell.
A GoFundMe.com account has been set up to help pay Katie Wenszell’s medical expenses.