Avan Brooke Lindsay-Calkins is the sole survivor in train-car collision that claimed the life of her mother, Erin Lindsay-Calkins, 26, and her older brother, Nicolas Lindsay-Calkins, 5.
Eyewitness News has learned the infant girl remains in fair condition but is expected to be released from the hospital in a couple of days.
According to the Highway Patrol, the Carolinian struck Lindsay-Calkins' vehicle at Mount Willing and Southern roads in western Orange County Tuesday around 10:30 a.m. The train was traveling east, headed for Durham from Greensboro.
Authorties say Lindsay-Calkins made a right turn onto Mount Willing Road and attempted to cross the railroad tracks, striking the crossing bar.
Her car continued across the tracks and was struck by the Amtrak train. Eyewitnesses said Lindsay-Calkins drove around the gates, but the young mother's friends say that would be very out of character.
"I know in my heart that Erin would never do that," offered friend Alli Lawson Moore in an interview with ABC11 Eyewitness News Wednesday.
Moore says it's more likely the stay-at-home mom was briefly distracted as she headed east and then turned right.
"You're right there on the tracks, the signals aren't there until you turn, and so if you're not paying attention, you don't necessarily look around the corner when you're turning," she explained.
Explaining how the horrific crash happened is now up to railroad officials along with state and federal investigators.
How a grieving family will survive heartache during the holidays is another question. The sole survivor - Erin's infant daughter - will be home from the hospital in a few days.
"It's a miracle - what she looks like - she has just a few scratches on her," said Moore.
Friends say the wounds for Erin's husband may not heal as easily, so they've established a memorial fund. Donations can be made at any NC State Employees Credit Union on behalf of Michael Lindsay-Calkins.
"They were so in love with each other. So in love, a remarkable relationship," said Moore.