Source: The Sun (UK newspaper).
Her boyfriend and a brave passer-by pulled her free but watched in horror as the train hit her at up to 50mph.
The 29-year-old victim – whose first name is Kelly – got stuck as she tried to cross the tracks after the crossing gates had shut.
One of her trendy Ugg boots got caught between two wooden slats intended to keep animals off the line.
Her boyfriend and a passing IT student, Jonathan Smith, desperately battled to save Kelly as a speeding train bore down on them.
Jonathan, 18, last night said: “I was standing waiting to cross when I saw them.
“There were four or five people there, but they just watched. Nobody wanted to get hit by a train.
“I saw the train coming. I just thought, ‘I’ve got to save her’. I didn’t think about my own life.
“It was just instinct – it was a young girl’s life.”
Jonathan darted through the barriers and helped get her foot out – with the train just 25 FEET away.
Crossing … train zooms past
He said: “I had her in my arms. She was safe. But her boyfriend screamed at her to get to the other side.
“I said, ‘Stay on this side’. But he told her, ‘This is my train, I’ve got to be on this side of the track’.”
The woman curled into a ball and her boyfriend jumped out of the way.
Jonathan said: “I tried to help her but I slipped because it was wet.
“It was just luck that I wasn’t hit. The train driver didn’t have any chance to stop. I was still holding her hand when the train came but my friend told me to let go of her hand – otherwise I would lose my arm.
“I just went into shock afterwards.”
Kelly was killed instantly on the crossing at Hythe station in Colchester, Essex, at 7.50pm on Thursday.
Brave battle … Jonathan
Her boyfriend was treated in hospital for leg injuries.
Floral tributes were left at the scene last night.
The victim’s mother and father visited the crossing at lunchtime but were too upset to comment.
Last night police paid tribute to the bravery of the two men who tried to save Kelly. Detective Inspector Terry Pearce of British Transport Police said: “This was a very valiant effort.
“They were very brave and we are very grateful not to be looking at two deaths or maybe even three.”
He also applauded the driver of the 6.38pm National Express East Anglia train from London Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
DI Pearce said: “The driver actually saw something at the very last minute and tried his best.
“He applied the emergency brakes but because of the momentum of the train he was unable to stop.
“It was a harrowing experience for him, the witnesses and the police officers called to deal with this incident. We are speaking to witnesses but I feel it was a tragic accident.”
Transport police were last night investigating whether the incident had been captured on CCTV footage.
DI Pearce added: “There have been various incidents over the last few years of deaths on level crossings.
“If a level crossing is treated correctly accidents like this won’t happen. It is a tragedy.”
Locals said that people often tried to slip through the crossing barriers after they had shut.
Matt Wilson, who was on the train, said: “It’s awful. I was in the first carriage.
“There was no warning, the driver just slammed on the brakes. Just a minute later you heard the sirens.
“It is such a dangerous crossing. People chance it all the time. They just push back the barrier and run over. I’ve done it before – loads of people do it.”