SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The woman who firefighters credit with saving the life of a man injured while trying to jump on a train in Spokane Valley Monday afternoon tells KHQ, "Everything was set up for that to happen, whether you believe in God or not, I was supposed to be on that road."
That woman, who asked to not be identified, said she saw a young man running toward the train, while she was stopped in her car at the railroad crossing near Fancher & Rutter, on the edge of Felts Field. As he approached the slow-moving train, she realized he was going to try to jump on. Moments later, she saw him lying on the ground and crying for help.
She describes it as a "horrible day," and said she's barely slept two hours since.
The woman told KHQ she doesn't want any publicity, but if there was one thing she wanted to say, it's this: "I wish people cared more," adding that several people left the scene, and she was surprised nobody else called 9-1-1.
After the woman got off the phone with dispatchers, she got out of her car and ran over to the man. That's when she realized just how severe his injuries were. She said his legs were barely attached, and she stayed with him until paramedics could arrive.
"I can't even describe it – I was devastated, it was hard. But thank goodness he lived," she added. "You have all these thoughts of ‘Could I have done something better, or faster,' but I don't think I could have."
Firefighters from the Spokane Valley Fire Department responded thanks to her 9-1-1 call. Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford said trains move very slowly that area, usually 20-25 mph. The train was heading eastbound Monday afternoon, when it was coming to a stop to switch out crews. Clifford said that's when the man tried to jump onto the ladder on the side of the train, but was pulled under.
Clifford said the fire department wants to thank the woman for what she did, because she very likely saved the man's life.
The name of the man injured has not been released, and hospital officials were not able to provide an update on his condition.