SEBASTIAN — Barbara Lioi is not sure if her son will ever walk again.
The mother was awakened about midnight when Vero Beach police came to her door. They told Lioi that her son, Edward Krok, an electrician, was involved in a horrific crash involving a truck and a train.
“The railroad men told me no one normally survives any kind of train accident,” said the 72-year-old Vero Beach resident regarding the Feb. 8 crash. “My son is alive and he is a miracle.”
The wreck left Krok, 47, of Sebastian, with serious injuries, including a crushed pelvis, a concussion and 15 broken ribs, Lioi said. Lioi said doctors placed an apparatus on the outside of Krok’s body to hold his pelvis in place.
Krok was driving a Ford F-150 about 10 p.m. when he crashed through one of the downed railroad crossing arms and then struck the southbound train at Main Street and Louisiana Avenue, Sebastian police Lt. Tim Wood said. Indian River County Fire Rescue crews flew Krok to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Battalion Chief Kyle Kofke said.
Last week, Krok was transferred to Consulate Health Care of Melbourne, where he continues to recover. Krok had a major surgery a few days after the crash and is preparing for another one, Lioi said. He was confined to a hospital bed and not allowed to put any weight on his body.
“They are lifting him in a wheelchair,” Lioi said. Lioi said her son does not have any diagnosed medical conditions.
It remains unclear what caused Krok to drive into the train, which was traveling at 55 mph, authorities told Lioi. Lioi said Krok lived a mile and a half down from the crash site, though his planned destination was unknown.
Lioi said she drove to the hospital to check on her son after Vero Beach police notified her about the wreck. A doctor told Lioi that Krok was ejected from the pickup.
Krok was found about 10 feet away from the mangled vehicle, not far from the train, Lioi said.
The mother then drove to the crash site. There, she saw a damaged crossing arm on the ground, scattered pieces of glass, twisted metal debris and a coin holder, which she saved.
“I recognized the coin holder because I’ve driven the vehicle before,” Lioi said.
Lioi saw orange paint in the grass, which marked where the pickup was found. The pickup had been crushed almost completely from impact.
Lioi said the vehicle had been towed away by the time she arrived, which was about 4 a.m. Lioi said Sebastian police told her they were holding the vehicle.
After the crash, Krok remained sedated for 10 days at the hospital, Lioi said. In addition to serious injuries, Krok also suffered memory loss.
“He has no memory of the accident. He’s stable, but very confused and in a lot of pain,” Lioi said. “His doctor said he has a hard time remembering and understanding where he is.”
Doctors told Lioi it will take some time before Krok gets his memory back.
It was not immediately known if police were considering charges in the case. The investigation remains ongoing.