SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Ruth Tomlin Gronneberg was awaiting her granddaughter’s arrival from New York on June 17 on the platform of the Kingston station. The wind was strong as the train zoomed by, knocking the 91-year old South Kingstown off her feet, her husband, Edward Gronneberg said.
Gronneberg passed away 11 days later on June 28 after suffering a broken hip and wrist after the train’s blast. Her husband said they never expected it.
“I looked down the track and could see the headlight of the train coming. We backed up a little bit, but not really far. About six to eight feet. Instead of a local, it was the Acela and it came in well over 100 miles per hour,” Gronneberg said. “The air just brushed us right back I fought for my balance and looked back and saw Ruth had fallen on the deck.”
After Tomlin Gronneberg broke her left hip and left wrist, she was sent to the emergency room of South County Hospital. After surgery, she was transferred to Scallop Shell Nursing Home in South Kingstown for rehabilitation. But after a couple of days in rehab, Gronneberg received a phone call that his wife had trouble breathing and needed to be transferred back to the hospital. Eventually, doctors advised Gronneberg that his wife of 12 years should go to hospice care.
“She didn’t want any breathing or feeding tubes,” Gronneberg said.
Although Tomlin Gronneberg was born in Summit, N.J., she grew up in Rhode Island, where she would later move to South Kingstown and spend her remaining years with her second husband.
“She was a very sweet sensible girl. She was well-loved,” Gronneberg said.
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