“Just as I Pulled Him Back, the Train Hit His Wheelchair… His Wheelchair Exploded as Soon as the Train Hit It”

At 1:30 p.m. on 15 September 2015, Ashley Aldridge, age 19, rescued Earl Moorman, age 75, after his motorized scooter got stuck on a railroad crossing in Auburn, Illinois. She barely got him to safety before the train struck his scooter. Ms. Aldridge, who did not know Mr. Moorman, said, “I’m just glad he’s OK. The only thing going through my mind was, I hope he’s OK.” She lives near the railroad crossing, and she heard Mr. Moorman calling for help. A neighbor watched her two children, ages one and two, as she went to help. As she went to help, she heard the train. She said, “His back wheels were stuck on the track. They weren’t coming out. I tried lifting the chair, but that didn’t work. Then I looked over and the train was right there. I was like, I’m going to keep trying. I tried again and I ended up lifting him just enough that I could tilt the wheelchair back and then I started pulling him.” She pulled him out of the chair to safety. She said, “Just as I pulled him back, the train hit his wheelchair… His wheelchair exploded as soon as the train hit it. There were pieces of his wheelchair clear on the other end of Auburn.” Dave Beck, Mr. Moorman’s son-in-law, said, “I was coming down to tell her thank you. I’ve hugged her I don’t know how many times today. It’s overwhelming. I can’t get over how much I’m in debt to her.”

For More Information: John Reynolds, “Woman rescues Illinois man in motorized wheelchair stuck on railroad tracks.” GateHouse Media Illinois. 16 September 2015

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