CHICAGO (CBS) — Thanks to a stranger who came to his rescue, a driver is alive after his car was hit by a train Saturday night in west suburban Sugar Grove.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke to the man who risked it all to save the driver.
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It was a matter of seconds; Lewis Medina was able to get that man out of his car and far enough away from the tracks as the train came barreling through.
“As soon as I got him at the bottom of hill, the train smashed the car,” Medina said.
In rural Sugar Grove Township, near Aurora, the roads are dark, and there aren’t many cars that pass over the train tracks on Prairie Street; but for whatever reason Medina did Saturday night around 8:30 p.m., and his timing couldn’t have been better
“As we crossed the tracks down the road, I noticed a vehicle on the tracks spinning its wheels,” he said. “”I told 911, ‘I think he might be drunk.’”
Medina got the driver out of the car. The 72-year-old behind the wheel wasn’t drunk, he was having a medical emergency and unable to get out on his own
“I looked to my right, and all of a sudden, now I see a train coming,” Medina said. “I said, ‘We don’t have no more time to wait. We got to get you out now,’ and he’s not moving.”
Medina unbuckled and pulled the driver out with just seconds to spare before the train crushed the car.
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A lot of people who would have just kept going if they saw the car stuck on the tracks. Why did Medina stop?
“I would think anybody would,” he said.
His daughter, Hannah, was waiting and watching in the car. She only had one thing on her mind
“Is my dad okay? Is he alive?” she said.
Not only did dad survive, he likely saved the life of a stranger.
“I love my dad, and I know that he would help anyone in need, no matter if that cost him his life,” she sid.
Would Medina do it again?
“Absolutely. No question,” he said.
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Medina said the man was released from the hospital, and told him that he had suffered diabetic shock while crossing the rails.