An epic piece of body camera footage is going viral this week showing a California police officer pulling a man in a wheelchair from the path of an oncoming train seconds before it would hit him.
Lodi Police Officer Erika Urrea was patrolling the area by the train tracks at around 8:45 AM on Wednesday morning when she saw the wheelchair-bound man, who appeared to be stuck on the tracks. When Urrea saw the railroad alert systems blaring and the crossing arm lowering, she knew she had to act fast.
Urrea’s body camera footage shows her running up to the 66 year-old man and asking him, “Can you get up?”
The train’s horn can be heard in the background getting louder and louder as it approaches the pair. Thinking fast, Urrea was able to pull the man out of his chair and drag him to safety just in time, with only seconds to spare.
On 08/12/2020 at around 844 AM, Officer Urrea was in the area of Lodi Ave and the railroad tracks when she saw a male in…
“The male suffered a leg injury that was tended to immediately by Officer Delgado (who had arrived to assist) and Officer Urrea,” the Lodi Police Department wrote on Facebook alongside the video. “The 66-year-old male was ultimately transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. Officer Urrea risked her own life to save another and her actions prevented a tragedy today. We are extremely proud of Officer Erika Urrea and her heroism.”
“A northbound train was traveling pretty fast, and she rushed over to get him unstuck,” Sgt. Steve Maynard added to Lodi News. “She only had a few seconds, and for some reason, she couldn’t get the chair loose, so she grabbed hold of him and hauled him from the chair.”
He added that the man suffered severe injures to his legs because the train still struck him as Urrea pulled him away. Maynard said that the man remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition.
Urrea, who has been a police officer for 14 years, declined to comment on her heroic act. Social media users, however, have been hailing her as a hero.
“I’m in tears watching this body cam footage,” one social media user commented. “I work right next to where this occurred and feared the worst when I saw the mangled wheelchair. I’m so overcome with emotion watching this, and I’m so grateful to Officer Urrea for saving his life.”
“My heart stopped (while) watching this,” another added. “What an amazing woman, an amazing human being and an absolutely incredible officer.”