LODI, Calif. (KTXL) — It was a race against time once a Lodi police officer saw a man in a wheelchair stuck on the train tracks Wednesday.
Officer Erika Urrea narrowly pulled the man to safety mere seconds before a train came barreling through.
“Just reacted, honestly. The only thought I had in my mind was, ‘I need to get him off these tracks,’” Urrea told FOX40.
The 14-year veteran of the force said she was near the beginning of her shift Wednesday morning when she spotted the man. His wheelchair appeared to be trapped on the train tracks near Lodi Avenue and Sacramento Street.
“And I see him kind of wiggling like he’s stuck,” Urrea said.
She says she didn’t have time to think or even to be afraid.
“I could see the train coming and it’s coming pretty fast,” Urrea explained. “So, at that moment, I just kind of grabbed him by the arm and just kind of pulled. Going down, I remember hearing the crash like the train had hit something.”
The train hit the 66-year-old man’s leg but he’s expected to survive. A GoFundMe raising money for his medical expenses and a new wheelchair says one of his legs had to be amputated while the other was fractured.
“So, my initial thought was that I didn’t get to him in time, I didn’t get him,” Urrea said.
Looking back, Urrea realized she easily could have been hurt.
“Really seems very surreal to me. I watched the video and it doesn’t seem like it was me. It just seems like I was watching someone else’s video,” Urrea said.
But she said she’d gladly do it all again.
“I don’t feel I did anything that any one of my peers here, the men and women that I work with, wouldn’t have done,” Urrea said.
Officer Urrea said she never expected the flood of support she has been getting from the community and wants to say thank you.