Employees Honored During Pre-Game Ceremony at Yankee Stadium
MTA Metro-North Railroad employees who were involved in a daring rescue of a three-year-old boy were special guests of the New York Yankees on Monday evening, topping off a week’s worth of recognition by the transit authority. Metro-North President and Interim Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Catherine Rinaldi, who formally commended the heroes at the MTA’s committee meeting on Monday, April 24, also joined the employees for the ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
Prior to their game against the Cleveland Guardians, the Yankees hosted the employees for batting practice before honoring them for their heroism earlier last month in a pre-game ceremony.
“It has been so great to see the reception of these heroic employees,” said Metro-North Railroad President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “We cannot thank the New York Yankees enough for providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the Metro-North family.”
The rescue happened 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, he soon realized to be a young child on the northbound track. Kennedy 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.
MTA police officer Jose Reyes, who normally works along Metro-North's Harlem Line, but was covering the Hudson Line on this day, heard the call go over the radio. Officer Reyes looked for a way to the tracks, trying to see if he can find the train and/or the child. After pulling into a driveway that gave him a perfect view of the situation, Officer Reyes saw Higgins jump out of the train to race toward the child.
The crew then traveled back to Tarrytown Station, where they were met by Officer Reyes, who had called Tarrytown EMS, and other MTA police officers.
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.
“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.”