Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Metro-North President and Long Island Rail Road Interim President Catherine Rinaldi today awarded commendations to five employees involved in a daring rescue of a three-year-old boy who had gotten onto the train tracks near the Tarrytown station.
On Thursday, April 6, at approximately 3:15 p.m., Locomotive Engineer William Kennedy was operating a southbound Hudson Line train north of Tarrytown when he noticed an object and soon realized a young child was on the northbound track, so he sent out an emergency radio communication to all nearby train crews.
Locomotive Engineer Shawn Loughran and an engineer trainee who were aboard northbound Train 737 approaching the scene proceeded at slow speed until the child was spotted on a track near — and then on top of — an electrified third rail. Once the train came to a stop, Assistant Conductor Marcus Higgins jumped down to the track, ran 40 yards in front of the train, picked up the child and brought him onboard the train. The crew then traveled back to Tarrytown Station, where they were met by MTAPD officers and Tarrytown EMS.
At the same time, Signal Maintainers Max Chong and Christopher Fraina were heading to the area to help and came upon the child’s mother and sister who were observed sobbing on a street corner, who explained the three-year-old was missing. When a Sleepy Hollow police officer pulled up and mentioned a missing child report, the group realized they were all looking for the same child. Meanwhile, the Metro-North signal maintainers heard a report on their radios of a found child at Tarrytown station. They group drove to Tarrytown, where the railroad employees and police officers took the family to the platform, where mother and son were reunited. The boy’s mother says her son has autism.
“These fine team members embodied the qualities we want our employees to exhibit while on duty, alert, responsive, knowledgeable and helpful,” Metro-North Railroad President and Interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi said. “With the bravery and calm comportment of superheroes, they averted a horrific outcome and saw to it that this little boy was not going to become a statistic. We salute their efforts and compassion, and heartily thank them for their dedication to the people we serve.”
“Heading south towards Tarrytown when I noticed something on the tracks, and when I realized it was a child I immediately called in an emergency,” Locomotive Engineer William Kennedy said. “Everybody’s quick thinking and the perfect timing allowed us to get this child off the tracks and back to his family.”
“In the heat of the moment when you see a child in this situation, your first instinct is to make sure they’re safe,” Assistant Conductor Marcus Higgins said. “I’m glad our crew was there and able to help.”
“I’m just so happy it all worked out and everything fell into place,” Locomotive Engineer Shawn Loughran said.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that we were able to help reunite this family,” Signal Maintainer Christopher Fraina said. “In those minutes that must have felt like hours to them, I’m so glad we were in the right place at the right time.”