A video captured by witness Karin Lizana shows California officers Lance Whitted and Erik Rueppel pulling a car crash victim, who was stuck on the train tracks, to safety seconds before the train destroyed everything in its path, according to the NY Daily News.
Just before 6:40 p.m. on Monday, two police officers heard a car crash at the intersection in Sunnyvale as they were travelling on South Mary Avenue. Without hesitation, they ran to the scene where they discovered a man inside of a black vehicle that was trapped on the train tracks.
With no time to waste as the Caltrain No. 385 was only seconds from plowing into the vehicle, one of the officers quickly pulled the unidentified man, who appeared to be in his 20s, out of the vehicle.
The video footage shows the car crash victim attempting to stand after falling out of the vehicle when he was pulled out, but he was unable to do so. The officer then begins to drag him. Seconds later, the train is seen hitting the vehicle in its path at full speed.
The vehicle was struck again by another train, No. 287, moments after being hit by the Caltrain, according to NBC Bay Area. However, no one was injured during the incident.
Deputies Lance Whitted, left, Erik Rueppel, talk about rescuing a driver on the train tracks in Sunnyvale on Monday. pic.twitter.com/abhRWmx2LK
— John Green (@johngreenphoto) August 4, 2015
“It was close,” Officer Whitted told reporters at NBC Bay Area. “We’re just glad we were here because obviously that would have been a different result.”
Caltrain officials are calling deputies Witted and Rueppel heroes as they were able to “prevent a possible tragedy” with their quick thinking.
“Had they not acted, who knows what would have happened,” said Salvador Zuno who is the spokesperson for San Mateo County Sheriff.
“If it had not been for the deputies being at the right place at the right time, the driver would have been significantly injured. I believe because of their actions this person is alive today.”
Following the shocking train incident, the commuter train track had been shut down while an investigation ensued.
Although there had been speculations about the driver of the vehicle being under the influence, it has yet to be confirmed.
[Image via Screen YouTube Screen Capture]