TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A railroad conductor in New York sprinted to scoop up a 3-year-old boy who had wandered dangerously close to the electrified third rail, officials said this week.
Engineer William Kennedy, who was operating a southbound train April 6, was the first to spot the boy on Metro-North Railroad tracks near Tarrytown, north of New York City, and sent out an emergency radio message, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a news release.
“There’s a little kid north of you guys,” someone can be heard saying in a video released by the MTA, addressing the crew of an approaching northbound train.
The video shows the northbound train proceeding slowly until the crew can spot the child. Assistant conductor Marcus Higgins jumps down from the train, grabs the boy from a cover on top of the third rail and carries him to safety.
Meanwhile, the MTA said, two additional railroad employees on their way to help spotted the child's sobbing mother and sister on a street corner. The family was reunited at the Tarrytown station. The video shows the mother hugging her child.
Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said the boy's grateful mother told the railroad workers that her son is autistic and non-verbal.
“These fine team members embodied the qualities we want our employees to exhibit while on duty: alert, responsive, knowledgeable and helpful,” Rinaldi said.
Higgins added, "In the heat of the moment when you see a child in this situation, your first instinct is to make sure they’re safe. I’m glad our crew was there and able to help.”