An American soldier came to the rescue of dozens of victims of the Amtrak train derailment in Washington State on Monday.
2nd Lt. Robert McCoy had just finished morning exercises at Joint Base Lewis-McChord when he saw the train break through a concrete barrier along the highway, hit several cars and then dangle off the side of the tracks and onto the I-5 freeway.
Three people were killed and roughly 100 people were injured when Amtrak Cascades 501 derailed after going 50 miles per hour over the limit when it went around a curve.
“From there, my adrenaline kind of kicked in,” McCoy, who is assigned to the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, told the Seattle Times. “I grabbed tourniquets I had in my truck and approached the scene.”
McCoy’s first instincts were to pull some of the wounded people lying near the incident away from the train in case the train continued to fall and hit people nearby.
McCoy said he then climbed onto an overturned train car so he could get to those who were in the suspended rail car.
McCoy found a number of injured people in the train car, including an elderly woman who was partially hanging outside of the train car. He got underneath her and helped her down.
McCoy stayed at the scene for roughly three hours to help with the injured before heading home.
“I couldn’t afford to be scared, I couldn’t afford to be shocked,” he told Q13 FOX. “I had to do what I am called to do and focus and channel that and help these people around me get to safety as best as possible.”