Francis R. Brown, 35, brakeman, attempted to save Michael J. Pellerito, 6, from being killed by a train, Holland, Michigan, February 27, 1966. Michael was walking on a railroad trestle 20 feet above a river when a freight train approached from behind. When he saw Michael, the engineer applied the brakes and sounded the whistle. Michael, whose head was covered by the hood of his jacket, continued walking along the track as the train moved to within 700 feet of him, traveling at a slowly decreasing speed of about 43 miles an hour. Brown stepped from the cab of the engine. Because there was considerable bucking and plunging, he held to handrailings as he moved along a walkway to the head of the engine and descended three steps at the side. From the bottom step he grasped a railing alongside it and then swung one foot forward to a footboard at the head of the engine. Squatting, Brown held to the railing with one hand. The train was moving at about 40 miles an hour when it reached Michael, who was six feet from the end of the trestle and still walking alongside the track. Brown attempted to grasp Michael but failed to obtain a hold on him. Michael was killed when the end of the footboard struck his back, throwing him 50 feet to the ground beyond the trestle. The train continued 1,800 feet farther before stopping.
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