Stunning Video Shows Worker Rescue Man from Tracks Milliseconds Before Train Barrels Through


“I didn’t want to see this guy die.”

That’s how quick-thinking John O’Connor, a Bay Area Rapid Transportation system supervisor, described the moment of lightning heroism on Sunday that saw him pull an inebriated man out of the path of an oncoming train — barely seconds before the man would have been crushed.

The footage is hair-raising.

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According to Fox29 in San Francisco, the life-and-death moment came after the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions ended at the RingCentral Coliseum.

O’Connor was working crowd control at the Oakland Coliseum station when the intoxicated man fell from the platform onto the tracks.

As he lay there, Fox29 reported, “the oncoming train showed no signs of slowing down.”

That’s when O’Connor went into action, reaching down to pull the man back onto the platform as the crowd watched.

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That awe turned to cheering as the two men hugged, Fox29 reported.

In an interview with KPIX, O’Conner made it sound like it was all in a day’s work.

“I was standing on the yellow strip, telling people to stay back, looking (north) toward Lake Merritt when, in my peripheral vision, 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 station.

“Everybody was telling him, ‘Get out of the trackway, a train’s coming.’”

With the train moving about 36 mph, O’Conner said, he knew there was no time to lose. He went to the edge of the platform, grabbed the man by the shoulders and hefted him up off the rails.

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A witness told CNN just how close things came.

“As the train approached, I sat up from my seat and the crowd turned their attention to the train,” Tony Badilla told the network.

“I heard a commotion to my left just as the train arrived and witnessed the BART worker physically bring the man to the ground, both falling to the deck safely as the train breezed by.

“The crowd was shocked at just how close of a call it was, and the man was rattled,” Badilla said. “The BART worker was upset with the man for being so careless, but his emotions took over and the two embraced.”

In his interview with KPIX, O’Conner’s nervousness came through.

“I thought the train was going to cut him in half, honestly,” O’Connor told the station. “I didn’t want to see this guy die.”

Moments of heroism don’t come along very often, but fortunately, there are people who rise to the occasion. Whether they’re police officers working in the line of duty or a man or woman deciding to be a good Samaritan, moments that call for action show everyone can make a difference.

In a statement posted on Twitter, BART summed up the situation perfectly.

“He saved a life tonight. Thank you, John.”

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.