Christopher Bryant Aboyte, Damien Castro, and Robert Michael Sherock

Damien Castro

Three Los Angeles police officers responded to a Jan. 9 accident in which a plane had crash-landed at an intersection of a railroad track and a four-lane road in Pacoima, California. The plane straddled the single train track and local emergency officials responded. Officer Christopher Bryant Aboyte, 28, was assigned to monitor the condition of the plane’s pilot, Mark Jenkins, 71, while officers Damien Castro, 28, and Robert Michael Sherock, 34, directed traffic and controlled the scene. Suddenly, a crossing gate descended and a five-car, 600-ton commuter train traveling at least 72 m.p.h. approached the crossing. Castro ran to the cockpit and tried in vain to open the mangled cockpit door, but it wouldn’t budge. Sherock then ran over, joining Aboyte and Castro. They reached into the plane and, together, hoisted Jenkins over the dashboard and out through the windshield area. Placing him on the pavement, they dragged Jenkins away from the plane. Four seconds after his removal, the train struck the plane. The officers were not injured.

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