Train workers hailed as heroes after saving man's life - WNEM TV 5

Train workers hailed as heroes after saving man's life

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Photo by James Felton Photo by James Felton
GRATIOT COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Imagine you're driving towards a railroad crossing and you can't stop. And to make matters worse, a train is coming towards you.

That's exactly what happened to 23-year-old John Wilson of Ashley. Just after noon on Saturday, his pickup truck slammed into a train at a crossing in Elba Township located in southwest Gratiot County.

President and CEO of Great Lakes Central Railroad Mike Bagwell is still talking about the accident today.

"The engineer was looking back when it happened and he saw the collision," Bagwell said.

After the crash, the train's engineer called 911 immediately. The conductor got out of the train and ran down the tracks after he heard Wilson screaming for help.

The force of the crash sent Wilson's truck into the Maple River. The conductor ran down the embankment and kept Wilson's head above water to prevent him from drowning. The conductor stayed in these icy waters until emergency crews arrived.

"They are heroes, both of them. The conductor there first and the engineer coming behind; to us and anyone who knows the story, they're real heroes," Bagwell said.

For Bagwell, this incident serves as a reminder for all drivers about safety around the tracks.

"Always expect a train on the track at anytime. Stop, look and listen. Be aware around the railroad tracks that there might be a train coming," Bagwell said.

Wilson was taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. His condition is not known at this time.

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