Check out the amazing life-saving work by Trp. Correa this morning! pic.twitter.com/O6du6AN9Oo
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) October 16, 2019
CENTERVILLE, Utah, Oct. 16, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled an unconscious man from a vehicle just moments before it was hit by a FrontRunner train in Centerville Wednesday morning.
A news release from Utah Transit Authority said the northbound FrontRunner train and the vehicle made contact at approximately 6:50 a.m. on a section of track between Pages and Parrish Lane.
UHP Trooper Ruben Correa spoke with reporters after the incident and said he was on a traffic stop on northbound Interstate 15 just south of 200 West in Farmington at around 6:45 a.m.
“Dispatch advised me there was a vehicle possibly on top of the tracks near Centerville,” Correa said. “I explained to dispatch I was going to respond. I engaged my lights and sirens to get to the scene. I used my spotlight to track down where the possible vehicle could be on top of the tracks.”
Correa saw the vehicle, and notified dispatch there was a car on top of the tracks.
“At that point, I got out of my vehicle, ran up to the driver and I observed there was a driver still in the vehicle,” Correa said. “I saw he was unconscious so I opened his door, explained to him, we’ve got to get out, he wasn’t responding. And I heard the horn from a train.”
Correa said he looked to his left and saw the train was approaching at between 50 and 80 miles per hour.
“I got the driver out of there,” Correa added. “I assumed he was having a possible medical condition at that point, and just before I knew, that train hit that vehicle and we were able to make it out alive at that point. I think I got him out a second … just before the collision. At that point I wasn’t really thinking, I was just doing my job. The main concern was getting him out of the vehicle and back to his family.”
He said when the train hit the vehicle, the vehicle flew some 30 feet.
He added that he was glad he was so close to the location, since he pulled the man out of the car just moments before the train hit it.
“That was a lot closer than I would have liked,” Correa said. “Just a second later and it would have been a different outcome.”
He said he was able to talk to the man “and he was just very grateful we both made it out OK.” He added: “He was in danger and I had to get him out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.”
It’s not clear at this early stage what the medical condition was. There were no known injuries to the driver of the vehicle or anyone on the train.
UTA put a bus bridge in place between Woods Cross and Farmington. All trains are now running as normal.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.