Howard E. Ratcliff, 38, railroad station agent, saved an elderly woman from being killed by a train, Plains, Montana, May 7, 1965. A freight train traveling at 55 miles an hour was approaching a foot crossing on which the elderly woman was walking toward the railroad station at the other side of the track. The engineer noticed the woman and sounded the horn, but he did not apply the brakes because he knew the train could not be stopped before reaching the foot crossing. Ratcliff saw the woman walking toward the track. By then the train was 300 feet from the foot crossing. Ratcliff ran 30 feet on earth and gravel, continued five feet on a wooden section of the foot crossing, and reached the track as the woman stepped onto the far rail. Without stopping Ratcliff ran across the track in the path of the oncoming train and reached the woman. The engine then was so close that the engineer and the brakeman thought it would strike both Ratcliff and the woman. Ratcliff pushed the woman firmly at the shoulder with both hands, forcing her backward from the track. They cleared the path of train, which did not stop.
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