this is "nightline." tonight rush hour horror. a deadly commuter train crash. >> it went over the bumper block. basically through the air. >> causing chaos in new jersey. >> come people couldn't walk. some people were covered in >> passengers escaping it. could it have been prevented. plus extreme vetting. inside the life and death situations of veterinarian student operating a large and kpexotic pooes to earn their stripes, showing it takes more than a love of animals to save their lives.
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morning when a rush hour commuter train crashed into a station at high speed leaving stunned passengers bloodied and crawling from the wreckage. investigators are searching for answers. unsuspecting passengers, there was little warning. and nowhere to hide. >> everybody is thinking the train is going to slow down. and it just collided. >> i saw the train across the around and run in the opposite direction. as i was running i could hear the ceiling and things falling. >> reporter: a new jersey transit train packed with commuters in rush hour, speeding and crashing into the hoboken, new jersey terminal. >> the whole place shook. it just shook, and everybody got quiet. first thing you think a bomb. >> i knew it wasn't a bomb.
initially just a horrendous exploding noise. >> reporter: one dead, 114 injured. all in a transit hub that close to 43,000 commuters use every day. michael larson, a new jersey transit employee, witnessed the crash. >> i couldn't believe what i was seeing. concrete dust, e lek ri cal wires. >> reporter: wjs stunned. >> the ceiling was caved in. building. there was a lot of people injured. i saw a man bleeding from his head. walking out. people were crying. it was stressful to see. >> reporter: the emergency calls began pouring in. >> we have a train that has gone through the station. >> we've got multiple walking wounded. serious structural damage. >> reporter: the one fatality, killed by falling debris. she wasn't on the strain.
this man saw her buried. he rushed to comfort her. >> i knew she was in pain. she wasn't even acknowledging me. she was just looking off. and i was like miss, i'm not going to let you -- if you're going to die, it's not by yourself. i'll be with you. >> reporter: tonight the victim's mother saying her daughter was a beautiful girl inside and outside. jamie weather head was standing in the packed first car as it went through the platform. >> t people started screaming. >> reporter: she snapped the photos of the aftermath. >> i saw people couldn't walk. some people were covered, in i guess debris. the conductor had blood all over his face and close clothing. >> reporter: this man was riding in the fourth car. >> people were hitting their heads and faces on the train and other people.
scratch. >> reporter: almost immediately first responders descended on the scene, assessing damage, peering into the train windows, looking for more survivors, some still stuck inside. >> we ran over and there were a lot of people kicking out windows, trying to exit the train. >> reporter: firefighters triaged the injured on the street. ambulances raced to the scene. paramedics with stretchers and wheelchairs loaded people in. many are in area hospitals tonight. >> a lot of the folks were helping each important. and then having the train first responders down here being able to determine who needs immediate hospital transportation is critical. >> reporter: a doctor was at the station changing trains. >> i was a little bit in shock when it happened. it was a surreal moment. once the dust settled, it was then time to leap into action. >> reporter: he treated wounded passengers.
medicine mode. it's the abcs, airway, breathing, and circulation. those are the three things you concentrate on at the moment. >> reporter: 1614 began the route at 7:23 this afternoon and was headed to hoboken. three cars, one engine in the back. at 8:05:00 a.m. this video shows the train headed south to hoboken where thousands of commuters pass through every morning. i looked at my friend and said it's going fast. >> reporter: the train carrying 250 people was pulling into track 5 this morning. passengers say the train did not slow down as it approached the station. >> he was coming into the station faster than normal. usually it crawls when it comes into the station. >> this train came in at a high rate of speed into the station. and crashed through all the barriers, bringing it right to
terminal. >> reporter: the new jersey governor taking a break from the trump campaign was on the scene. mindful that it's early, any preliminary ideas? >> we know the train came in toochz. the question is why. was it human error? was there a medical condition? was there a failure? we don't know. >> reporter: the train engineer, a 48-year-old, was treated for injuries and released. he is said to be cooperating with it's a dead end station must slow to 10 miles per hour before entering the straight away into the station. this train may have been traveling as fast as 30 miles per hour slamming through the butcher stop, launching into the air, and crashing into a waiting area room wall. investigators want to know if there's a mechanical problem or was the engineer distracted or have a medical issue? they don't suspect fowl play but
>> we'll not be determining the probable cause whooil ile on sc. >> reporter: the new jersey transit rail was ordered to install positive train control or ptc, an automatic breaking system. >> i had to put the break on. >> reporter: computers and sensors can be installed to the station and take over a speeding or dangerous train. >> if the human error happens, it will take train and bring it to a stop. >> reporter: no system was on this transit line. amtrak has installed it on the northeast corridor after this 2015 amtrak train derailment near philadelphia. speed was a factor in a 2007 mother's day crash that left dozens injured. they say it may take days to determine the cause of the accident today.
credit goes to commuters and first responders. the governor note third down region of america has had ample experience with disaster from the accidental to the unimaginable. tough people? >> very tough people in this part of the country. >> reporter: toughness and tight schedules. remember the 18-year-old college kid in what did he do? he ran to make his engineering class. today's disaster took a life, touched lives, and for many, sudd what's most important in life. >> anything can happen at any time. tell everyone you love them in the morning before you leave. next, a new reality series shows what it takes to be a veterinary student. and later. ? >> lady gaga might get the loudest applause of her career at the upcoming super bowl
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>> reporter: for america's top vet students. >> i want to be one of the pest in the world. >> reporter: getting an education isn't a walk in the dog park. >> if anyone thinking it's easy, they're wrong. >> reporter: after three grueling years of cramming and test taking, their fourth year they put their skills to the test with man's best friend and beyond. animal planet's new reality series follows six students at the university of pennsylvania just graduation. >> is it >> reporter: as they try to prove that they have what it takes. >> nice work. saved a life today. >> it's like getting into fort knox. >> reporter: rebecca is one of those students. a dog lover. her passion for pets led her to her career. >> he's relaxed, sleeps most of the day. >> reporter: look at those eyes.
>> he introduced you to your fiance? >> reporter: i had 60 pounds of dog food and the management lady was like that kid is single and he really wants to help you carry your dog food. we were dating ever since. >> reporter: but becoming a vet takes a lot more than just a love of animals. it's time and labor intensive. how grueling is the process? >> words can't describe. you have no life outside of school. you have to make an effort to give yoursel we spend eight hours a day in class, and then another five or six studying after. >> reporter: do you think for the most part people have no idea of all it takes to picture a veterinarian. >> i think most people have no idea. we have the exact same things for animals as more humans. we have dermatologists and kadologists, on kogss. you name it, we have it. we do everything that if do you go to the emergency you get
>> reporter: we head back to the emergency roo where rebecca who chose a small animal specialty, spent much of her time honing her skills. >> she's going to do her initial examination. >> reporter: we meet a nervous pupall pup puppy, who has been vomiting. >> we're making sure his eyes are okay, his heart is okay, his lungs are okay. >> reporter: rebecca >> how old is he. >> reporter: 20 weeks. >> sounds like he's vomiting everything up. >> reporter: another young dog came in at the tail end of her shift. the dedication it takes to be an animal doctor often means you can never just clock out. >> of course i take the case and will do anything for him. but that means a lot of extra hours. whatever has been making him
surgery. it's just going to need a little bit of time. he probably ate something that didn't agree with him, and now he has a tummy ache. >> reporter: the dog isn't giving much. >> humans say it hurts and they're like where? he's not going to tell me that. >> reporter: i had a grandfather who said if something is wrong with me, take me to a vet. they figure out what's wrong with you. >> i equate it to being a pediatrician. your the only thing you have the what the owners say and your physical exam findings. honestly, i would rather go to a vet than a doctor too. >> reporter: and there's more variety when it come to animals. over at the new center, professors like dr. veen teach their students how to take on the challenges that come with with treating larger animals. >> we're a large animal hospital. i do a lot with horses. we treat goat, sheep, cow, pig,
>> reporter: some of their past patients, elite athletes. >> it can be intimidating. and exotic animals like this zebra with arthritis. >> that one looks pretty close. >> that looks better. that looks good. >> reporter: today he's helping a horse who pulled up lame, who manages to stay pretty calm, but when his h unruly, things can get dangerous fast. >> make a mistake with a dog or cat, you get bit, and it can be nasty. make a mistake with a large animal, and it could be deadly. >> can i look in your mouth? >> reporter: lindsey was one of his students. >> her temperature is 102.7. >> you have to learn about every species. it's all about taking whatever learning experiences there are
best going to help you. >> reporter: assisting him with c sections on cows. >> one thing i love is that you can be in one procedure in the morning and then suddenly you're pull good another procedure. your technique for large animals matters. there's always the chance for things to go haywire. all hands on deck. >> a c section on a calf when you're taking a 100 pound calf is not a one human job. >> it takes a lot you have to pull the baby calf out of the mother. >> you're a big boy. >> it's one thing to study something. it is quite another to get in there and actually do it yourself. to feel what it's like, and to feel the strength that you need to do . >> same thing on the bottom side. >> he's great with how much he lets us do and get in there and experience it. >> reporter: for these vets,
do you love what you do? >> 100%. there's not a day that goes by that i'm not so happy with my choice. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm linsey davis in philadelphia. >> vet u premiers this saturday on animal planet. and next. telephone your favorite little monsters. lady gaga is headlining the super bowl halftime show. (foot steps) ? (crickets chirping) ? (jet engine) ? (heart beat) ? (water splashing) (rain drops) (engine revving) (tires on wet road) ?
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super bowl halftime show. taking to twitter to announce the news writing the rumors are true. this year the super bowl goes gaga. this isn't the first time she has made an nfl appearance. ? ? and the home of the brave ? >> moving last year's super bowl crowd with the national anthem. she joined the per perry, cold play and beyonce. as for details of her performance, we'll have to say, but it seems like this super star is on the edge of glory. ? >> the super bowl is a nice american tradition, but today's accident in nk nj got us thinking about the commuters who jumped into action to help their
about community and courage. it was a late actor john wayne is said courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. thank you for joining us. good night, america. >> train heading to catastrophe. how to get out alive if you're in a train crash. >> you're going to follow this path. >> then, first miss universe. >> she gained a little weight. >> i don't theist.