Thomas F. Rutecki saved Rosetta A. Wiedemann from being struck by a train, Downers Grove, Illinois, March 2, 2004. Wiedemann, 65, was crossing a railroad track on her electric scooter when its front wheel became lodged in the gap between the wooden crosswalk and a rail. She attempted to dislodge the scooter but without success. From the platform of the nearby train station, Rutecki, 55, communications specialist, saw her, then saw a train in the distance approaching on the track. He ran to Wiedemann and attempted to free the scooter, but his efforts likewise were futile. As the train bore down at 70 m.p.h. and was then about 400 feet from the scene, Rutecki pulled Wiedemann from the track to where she fell on the sidewalk. Rutecki protected Wiedemann with his leather jacket as the train struck the scooter within seconds, sending debris flying. Wiedemann was treated at the scene for abrasions, and she recovered.
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