Heroic Station Employee Pulls Man From Tracks Seconds Before Speeding Train Approaches: 'I Didn't Want to See This Guy Die'

Newsweek 1 week ago

A heroic transport worker pulled a man who had fallen onto the the tracks to safety seconds before a speeding train approached.

John O'Connor was working at the Coliseum Station in Oakland, California, after the Oakland Raiders game on Sunday evening.

At around 5.20 p.m., the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) transportation supervisor spotted a man who had fallen onto the tracks, a BART spokeswoman confirmed to Newsweek. The man was intoxicated and accidentally fell onto the track, she said.

O'Connor rescued a man who had fallen onto the tracks as a BART train traveling at 36 miles per hour was approaching the station. "I thought the train was going to cut him in half, honestly," O'Connor told CBS San Francisco. "I didn't want to see this guy die."

Tony Badilla captured the aftermath of O'Connor's heroic moment and shared the clip on Twitter.

"This #BART worker just saved this man from falling onto the tracks as the train was approaching! Amazing!!" he wrote alongside the clip. The 13-second video showed O'Conner embrace the man as people at the station applaud him.

Badilla said he had been watching O'Connor working at the station before the incident. "He was actively keeping the postgame crowd clear from danger while helping riders to their trains," he added on Twitter. "The positive outcome of this event is a direct result of John's attentiveness!"

Badilla's video was shared by the BART system's Twitter account, who added that O'Connor is a former train operator who was promoted to transportation supervisor.

"Tonight we are thankful for John," the tweet added. "He was working the Coliseum Station for the Raiders game and saw someone on the platform who needed help. He saved a life tonight. Thank you John. Show him some love."

But O'Connor remained humble about his heroic efforts. "I just did what I did. I just thank God I was there," he said to CBS San Francisco.

O'Connor said he had been helping to control the crowd at the station after the game when he noticed the man fall onto the track. "I saw him fall, almost like he missed a step going up a stairway, and he ended up in the trackway," O'Conner told the outlet.

O'Connor got down on to the edge of the station's platform and grabbed the man by his shoulders. He hoisted the man up and managed to roll him onto the station's platform with the train around 60 feet away.

The BART spokeswoman added that employees are trained to act quickly to keep passengers safe.

"John was on the platform and ensuring everyone stayed away from the yellow safety strip," she said. "A male who was intoxicated accidentally miss-stepped and fell into the trackway while a train was approaching."

The spokeswoman said O'Connor and other people at the station had yelled at the man to get back onto the platform as the train approached.

"The male didn't move quick enough so John grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him up by rolling him over his body to safety. They stood up and hugged," she said.

She added: "As a previous Train Operator he understands a train can not quickly be stopped. He also understands the trauma an operator experiences when going through a close call like this. He and other frontline employees are trained to quickly act and respond to keep riders safe."

The man, who has not been named, was taken for a medical evaluation, a BART spokeswoman told CBS San Francisco. Newsweek has contacted BART for further comment.

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