Jon Branson Bright, 13, schoolboy, saved Boyd Shirley, 44, and attempted to save Richard E. Gilman, 38, plumber’s helper, from being struck by a train, Decatur, Illinois, June 23, 1966. Shirley and Gilman, walking between the rails of a track, continued past a railroad crossing where Jon was waiting for a freight train to pass on a parallel track. A passenger train traveling at 35 miles an hour appeared 200 feet ahead of the men when they were 10 feet from the crossing and still on the track. Jon called a warning to the men, but they paid no heed. The engineer applied the brakes. Jon ran to a position between the rails and behind Gilman and Shirley. The train then was within 75 feet of them, approaching at slightly decreasing speed. Jon ran against Gilman with his arms outstretched, intending to push both men off the track. He forced Gilman against Shirley, who was knocked out of the train’s path. Gilman twisted away and moved off the other side of the track. Jon jumped from the track when the train was within 40 feet of him. Gilman, on the other side of the passing train, turned and stumbled against it. A handrailing struck his head, inflicting fatal injuries. The train stopped a quarter of a mile beyond the crossing.
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