Robert N. Attwooll saved Leslie Kelley from being killed by a train, Hansell, Iowa, June 27, 1962. Leslie, 1, crawled from the yard of her home to a railroad track on which a freight train was approaching. The engineer saw Leslie 400 feet ahead of the locomotive. He applied emergency brakes and shouted to Attwooll, 50, locomotive fireman. The train was 350 feet from Leslie and traveling at decreasing speed of 12 m.p.h. as Attwooll stepped out of the cab onto the locomotive’s gangway. He ran 35 feet on it at the side of the engine, which was jerking from the braking action, and then six feet across the front. Holding to a railing, Attwooll descended three steps and moved onto a footboard 18 inches wide. By that time the train had slowed to eight m.p.h. and was within three feet of Leslie, who then was standing alongside the rail. Attwooll crouched very low on the footboard and extended one hand. When the train was 18 inches from Leslie, Attwooll pushed forcibly against her chest. At the same time he released his hold on the railing and lunged from the footboard, pushing Leslie ahead of him. They landed six feet from the track as the train passed and stopped 150 feet beyond them. Both escaped serious injury.
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