Trooper Ruben Correa of the Utah Highway Patrol managed to save a man who was stuck in his car on train tracks and likely would have been killed if the trooper had not intervened.
On Wednesday morning, Correa got a report of a car on train tracks, so he raced over. He later related the entire ordeal to reporters during a media conference.
When the trooper arrived on the scene and reached the car at around 6:50 a.m., there was a train approaching.
The driver of the car had experienced a medical emergency due to an unknown condition, and was unconscious when Correa got to him.
“He was in danger and I had to get him out as quickly as possible,” Correa said, according to KSL-TV.
Thankfully, the train operator — Riley Nelson — saw lights ahead in the morning darkness and put on the emergency brakes.
Still, impact was inevitable.
Correa’s dash camera caught the entire heart-stopping scene.
“Let’s go, get out of here!” Correa said, as heard in the video. “We’ve got a train coming! We’ve got a train coming!”
Seeing there was no more time, the trooper somehow managed to drag the driver from his vehicle moments before the train reached them. It was a close call — closer than any of the involved parties would have liked — but thanks to the train operator and the brave trooper, the man was saved.
“The train hit the vehicle and the vehicle flew about 30 feet in front of us, and that’s when I realized, ‘Oh wow, that was a lot closer than what I would have liked,'” Correa said. “I’m just very grateful that I was able to get him out and he’s alive and he’s back with his family now.”
“This morning, Trooper Ruben Correa pulled an unconscious driver from his vehicle seconds before it was struck by a train,” the Utah Highway Patrol Facebook page shared on Wednesday. “Trooper Correa had been on a traffic stop close by before he responded to the area on a call of a car on the tracks.”
“As he spoke to the media about this incident this morning, Trooper Correa said, ‘At that point, I actually wasn’t really thinking, I was just doing my job.'”
“We echo Colonel Rapich who said, ‘An incredible and heroic action by Trooper Ruben Correa. We are so grateful that the Driver and Trooper are safe after this extremely close call. Well done Trooper Correa!!!'”
Nelson was also grateful that he didn’t witness a tragedy that day.
“Just as they went out of view, I saw the trooper physically haul the guy out of the car barely even a second before impact,” he wrote in a Facebook post, according to KSL-TV.
“God answered my daily prayer,” he continued. “Every morning, I pray to Heavenly Father and ask that He protect me and all those around and on my train. This morning, I know He did, and I thank Him for that.”
Other than some back pain, meanwhile, the driver is doing well and happy to be alive.
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