A California transit employee being hailed as a hero after saving a passenger who fell onto the tracks as a train was bearing downsaid Monday he was just doing his job.
John OConnor, a transportation supervisor for Bay Area Rapid Transit, was helping with crowd control after an Oakland Raiders gamearound 5:20 p.m. on Sunday at the Coliseum station in Oakland. At the time, OConnor was making sure passengers stayed away from the yellow safety strip when a man holding a cell phone suddenly ventured too close to the edge andfell onto the tracks-- just as the southbound train was approaching the station.
I just looked and was like, hes not going to make it, OConnortold reporters Monday. So Ive got to do something. There wasnt a lot of time to think.
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Surveillance footage released by the transit agency shows OConnor, aBART employee for 24 years, reaching down and pulling the unidentified man out, just before the train would have crushed him.
In my mind, it all went down in slow-motion, he said.I just grabbed him and pulled him out.
The BART supervisor said he wasnt sure where he found the physical strength to pull the man out, saying he didnt feel heavy at the moment. When OConnorgot the man back on the platform, a passenger on the platform took a video later posted to Twitter that showed the two men embracing.
Im just fortunate that God put me there, OConnor said. And he got to see another day. And when I spoke with him later, I said, Hey, just pay it forward.,
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BART leaders and passengers hailed OConnors actions as nothing short of heroic.
The BART supervisor - his actions were remarkable - the way he stepped in and saved that mans life, Delonzo Starks told the Associated Press on Monday outside the station where the rescue occurred. It would have been horrible for that to happen, just in front of all the witnesses. So its just a blessing that the BART supervisor was there.
But the transit supervisor said he feels awkward being called a hero, and that hejust did what we are supposed to do.
Id like to think that anybody else in there would have done the same thing. God put me there for a reason, right? he said Monday. He got to go home. Hopefully, he cures cancer or something. He seemed to be a young man, got a lot of life ahead of him. Hopefully, its a good one.
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The unidentified man who was rescued was described as being in his 20s. He was taken to the hospital, but not for any injuries connected to the fall, KTVU reported.
BART officials told KTVU on Monday that incidents of people accidentally falling onto the tracks arerare, happening less than once a year on average. Nevertheless, theyre considering a pilot plan to install barriers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.B:
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