A college student was reading her Kindle on the Metro-North platform in White Plains, New York, when a deranged homeless man threw her onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. The woman was hit by the train with such force that her body was shoved under the platform. She lost a finger, broke both her legs, and severed the artery in her thigh. Three MIT officers immediately jumped into action, arresting the homeless man and providing emergency care that likely saved Maya Leggat’s life. Today, Maya walked across the stage to receive her diploma from Hunter College with her three heroes by her side.
The New York Times reports that Maya Leggat was thrown in front of a train by a deranged homeless man in September of 2013. Her artery in her thigh was severed and if it weren’t for the quick-thinking actions of three MIT officers, Maya’s father says she likely could have died. When the story first broke back in 2013, reporters noted that the victim’s greatest concern was not being able to finish college due to her horrific injuries. However, her concerns were put to rest as she held back tears of joy while walking across the stage this evening during her commencement ceremony hand-in-hand with the officers she calls her heroes.
The officers recount the horrible day that they rushed to the aide of the terrified student. MTA police officer Ted Uzzle says that he was downstairs at the station when he heard “the most incredible screams I’ve ever heard a human being make.” Commuters rushed to the officers explaining that a homeless man had pushed a young girl in front of the train. The officer used his radio to call for all power to be cut off from the tracks and jumped onto the tracks to help the injured student.
Uzzle says that she had a life-threatening injury to her thigh as the train had severed a major artery. The officer yelled for commuters to throw him clothing so he could stop the bleeding.
“T-shirts started hitting me. I was able to catch three t-shirts. I yelled, give me that scarf! With the t-shirt and scarf, I crawled back under the platform.”
The officer says he used his knife to cut the girls jeans and made a tourniquet from the clothing provided by the commuters. Maya was then whisked away in an ambulance. After the incident, the officers remained close with Maya and her family. They say they were “deeply affected” by Maya’s resilience and recovery and commend her for completing college despite her injuries.
“I was deeply affected by the rescue. It’s amazing she could graduate and still be the person that she is.”
Following the horrifying attack, Hunter College gave Maya free college tuition to complete her degree and all of her hard work paid off this evening as she received her bachelor’s degree in English. The college president, Jennifer Raab, says that Maya is “amazing” and that her recovery is inspirational.
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