Paul Joseph Broussard saved P. Francis O’Rourke from being killed by a train, Malden, Massachusetts, May 16, 1963. At a railroad station O’Rourke, 67, walked onto the track on which a train was approaching at high speed. The engineer sounded a warning and applied emergency braking when the train was within 500 feet of O’Rourke. Attempting to move from the track, O’Rourke tripped and fell backward with the lower part of his body between the rails. He was unable to rise. Paul, 13, schoolboy, who was of very slight build due to chronic asthma and a cardiac condition, ran 15 feet to a three-foot space between the track and the station platform, which was four inches high. The train was 225 feet away and traveling at a slightly reduced speed of 50 m.p.h. when Paul grasped O’Rourke, who weighed more than twice as much as he, under the arms. With one foot against a tie and his other leg against the platform, Paul with considerable difficulty pulled O’Rourke from the track, clearing it when the train was within 40 feet of them and traveling at a decreasing speed of 15 to 20 m.p.h. The train passed within inches of O’Rourke and Paul and stopped 120 feet beyond them.
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