Todd McHugh saved a mother and her two young children from seriuos injury or death. He pulled them out of their car stuck on light-rail tracks in Folsom about 90 seconds before a Regional Transit train smashed into it.
“This young man stopped, he got out, and he got up to those tracks and helped that woman from the car,” said Folsom police spokesman Sgt. Rick Hillman. “A lot of heroes don’t think of themselves as heroes. They just do what needs to be done.”
McHugh, 17, was northbound on Folsom Boulevard on his way to meet friends when the silver Honda Fit in front of him veered off the road, went into a ditch and jolted to a stop on the tracks.
McHugh jumped out of his Dodge pickup and went to help. The driver, a woman who police say had fallen asleep, was behind the wheel and dazed. Her two daughters, ages 7 and 10, were in the back seat, buckled in.
McHugh took the woman’s hand and helped her from the car. She unbuckled the kids.
Police said the other good Samaritan, who was unidentified, ran along the tracks and tried to wave down the train. It was dark, there was a bend in the tracks, and the train operator probably never saw him, Hillman said.
The woman, her daughters and McHugh took shelter behind his truck as the train smashed into the subcompact, dragging it down the tracks, the teen said.
The woman’s car was demolished. Officials said the train was damaged. But none of the the crew and four passengers was injured.
“We are grateful that he helped,” Lo said. “We wanted to say thank you last night, but he was already gone.”