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Mother who was hit by train 'died for her daughter,' father says

October 11, 2011 |  9:58 am

Riverside train 
A Riverside father said he’s not surprised that his wife’s final act was to push their 2-year-old daughter to safety, even though it meant she would be unable to escape an approaching Metrolink train.

Paul Dibene told the Riverside Press Enterprise that his wife would have done anything for their daughter, Paris.

“She told me her daughter was her life,” Dibene said. “In the end, she not only lived for her daughter, she died for her daughter.”

Susan Dibene, 33, was killed Saturday evening as she struggled to push a baby stroller over a gated railroad crossing on Mary Street in Riverside.

Authorities said the stroller became stuck on the tracks and that the train’s engineer and conductor sounded their horn but were unable to bring the train to a halt as the woman continued to wrestle with the stroller.

The couple was in the process of going through a divorce but Dibene told the newspaper that he admired his wife’s courage and strength.

“She could have panicked like a deer in headlights, and my daughter could have gone with her. It just speaks volumes. I know how much her daughter meant to her,” Dibene told the Press Enterprise.

Dibene said he has yet to tell his daughter what happened to her mother, but will confront that reality on Thursday, the day the child would spend with her mother.

“I know the role a mother plays in a child’s life,” he told the paper. “She won’t have a mother for the first day of school, when she gets married, the firsts of everything," he said.

"Those are what I’m going to miss most.” 


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-- Steve Marble

Photo: Accident scene in Riverside. Credit: KTLA