Edward P. Woodruff, Jr., 16, schoolboy, saved Elaine M. Langdon, 4, from being struck by a train, Olean, New York, June 20, 1965. Elaine was walking across a railroad bridge when a freight train approached from the opposite direction. The engineer applied emergency brakes but knew he could not stop in time. Woodruff was at the opposite end of the bridge and saw Elaine 80 feet away standing motionless between the rails as the train sped toward her. Woodruff ran on the ties between the rails toward the oncoming train, which then was within 200 feet of Elaine and traveling at decreasing speed of 16 miles an hour. Woodruff reached Elaine when the engine was 20 feet away. He took hold of her and turned toward the side of the bridge, where there was a three-foot open space between the ties and a solid metal section five feet high. Having noted a 15-inch brace at the junction of a crossbeam and the railing, Woodruff leaped downward three feet onto the brace. As he jumped, pushing Elaine ahead of him, the engine brushed his arm and elbow. Woodruff and Elaine both struck their heads on the railing. Woodruff with his free hand grabbed a support rising from the crossbeam and held Elaine between it and himself as the train passed and stopped 400 feet beyond them.
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