New York & Atlantic crew to be honored for saving woman’s life

Written by Railway Age Staff
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Railway Age photo by Stuart Chirls

Three employees of the New York & Atlantic Railway will be honored for helping save the life of a woman in a Brooklyn rail tunnel.

The honorees, conductor Rommel Primus, brakeman Connor Ray, and engineer William Bagley, will be recognized by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 269 and the NYA at an annual union dinner Nov. 10 in Woodbury, N.Y.

“These men are 100 percent true professionals,” said Kevin Sexton, Division 269 general chairman. “They responded to the situation selflessly and their actions were heroic. All three played key roles in making this happen.”

While switching on the night of September 5 at the Bay Ridge Interchange Yard in Brooklyn, Primus and Ray were riding on the hind end as their train backed into the tunnel beneath 4th Avenue. In the darkness, the crew spotted the woman lying on the track and not moving.

Primus called out to Bagley to stop the train and Ray, riding on the same side of the car as the woman, jumped to the ground and ran to pull her out of the way. However, the train severed her right foot.

Primus, an Army veteran with medical training, used a tourniquet to stop the woman’s bleeding while Ray ran to summon aid at the nearby New York Police Department precinct. The 80-year old victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

“We’re very proud of our crew and the courageous way they prevented a real tragedy,” says Marlon Taylor, NYA vice president. “Their actions are symbolic of the way our railway works to promote a safe culture for employees and the public.”

New York & Atlantic Railway, a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, operates on 270 route miles of track owned by the Long Island Rail Road.

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