(Cameron, New York – June 6, 2011)
Laurie Eldridge, who lives by Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks in this community near Corning, NY, was busy working in her garden Monday evening about 7:30 P.M., when she noticed an auto driving on the railroad tracks. In the distance, she could also hear an approaching train.
Knowing things were just not right, she ran to the auto, which had now become hung up on the railroad tracks, and found 81-year-old Angeline Pascucci in the driver’s seat. As the confused motorist fought off the would-be rescuer by locking her car’s doors, thinking she was at a shopping mall parking lot, Eldridge reached through a partially open window, unlocked the car, and forcibly dragged Pascucci to safety.
Seconds later, the NS freight train rounded a bend and the engineer, seeing the car, put the train into emergency braking mode. The action was successful in slowing the train to 40 mph before it hit the car, but the auto was still badly damaged. The local fire dept. responded to the scene. Both the engineer as well as the fire chief agreed that Eldridge’s actions were not only exemplary, but probably saved the elderly motorist who was taken to Corning Hospital by ambulance and was admitted in stable condition.