MTA train crew carries out ‘daring rescue’ of 3-year-old child with autism on tracks near New York City
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is hailing five of its workers who were seen on video coordinating the “daring rescue” of a 3-year-old child with autism who had gotten onto train tracks north of New York City.
The MTA says the incident happened on April 6 outside Tarrytown, New York, when locomotive engineer William Kennedy “noticed an object and soon realized a young child was on the northbound track, so he sent out an emergency radio communication to all nearby train crews.”
“What is that, a kid?” a member of the train crew could be heard saying in video released by the MTA. The footage showed the train coming to a halt after the crew spotted the child near an electrified third rail.
“Once the train came to a stop, assistant conductor Marcus Higgins jumped down to the track, ran 40 yards in front of the train, picked up the child and brought him onboard the train,” the MTA said.
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The video shows the train crew then asking the child where his parents were.
“At the same time, Signal Maintainers Max Chong and Christopher Fraina were heading to the area to help and came upon the child’s mother and sister who were observed sobbing on a street corner, who explained the three-year-old was missing,” the MTA said in a statement.
“When a Sleepy Hollow police officer pulled up and mentioned a missing child report, the group realized they were all looking for the same child. Meanwhile, the Metro-North signal maintainers heard a report on their radios of a found child at Tarrytown station,” the statement continued. “The group drove to Tarrytown, where the railroad employees and police officers took the family to the platform, where mother and son were reunited. The boy’s mother says her son has autism.”
Video showed the toddler’s mother sobbing as she came onto the train and embraced her child.
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The MTA since has awarded commendations to Kennedy, Higgins, Chong, Fraina, and locomotive engineer Shawn Loughran for their actions.
“These fine team members embodied the qualities we want our employees to exhibit while on duty, alert, responsive, knowledgeable and helpful,” Metro-North Railroad President and Interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi said.
“With the bravery and calm comportment of superheroes, they averted a horrific outcome and saw to it that this little boy was not going to become a statistic,” she added. “We salute their efforts and compassion, and heartily thank them for their dedication to the people we serve.”
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“It’s a great feeling knowing that we were able to help reunite this family.” Fraina said.
“In those minutes that must have felt like hours to them, I’m so glad we were in the right place at the right time,” he added.