Utah teen on board derailed Spain train; “There’s a reason I”m still alive”

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The last thing Elder Stephen Ward remembers is flying sideways out of his seat.

The 18-year-old Mormon from Bountiful, Utah, was on his way to the Spanish town where he was planning to start two years of missionary work when the train he was riding in derailed as it went around a sharp curve.

One minute, he was writing in his journal. The next, he was covered in blood.

Ward was one of scores of people injured in Wednesday’s deadly crash.

“We had been going around some pretty sharp turns. We finally came to one more sharp turn, and the train, like, completely lifted up,” he said. “It was leaning sideways. It felt like a roller coaster.”

Elder Stephen Ward says he hopes to resume his missionary service after he recuperates.

For a few seconds, Ward thought to himself, “Well, this is kind of weird.”

Others around him seemed puzzled but not alarmed. Then, he says, the other set of wheels left the rails.

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