Heroic Teen

Heroic Teen

POSTED: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 7:53am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:00pm

The quick actions of a Citrus Heights, California teen saved the lives of three people along the tracks of light rail Monday.

Folsom police said a collision happened on Folsom Boulevard at Iron Point Road at about 7:17 p.m., when a train was unable to avoid hitting a vehicle that was on the tracks.

Todd McHugh said a driver was swerving and then slowly veered off a roadway.

The teen said the Honda Fit went off the road, across a ditch and got its right front tire stuck on the one of the rails of the Folsom light rail line.

Inside was a driver who police say had fallen asleep at the wheel, and her 7- and 10-year-old daughters were also in the vehicle.

"And I ran over to her car, opened the door, and asked her if she was OK," McHugh said. "She seemed kind of dazed. So I helped her out of the car."

McHugh said he'd just helped the woman and the girls get out of the car when someone started shouting, "Train coming! Train coming!"

"There was a passerby that was waving at the train, trying to warn the train operator of the traffic ahead," Rick Hillman from the Folsom Police Department said.

McHugh said he heard the train wheels screech as he and the group jumped out of the way just seconds before impact.

"It was just a huge metallic crack, like, bang!" McHugh said.

McHugh's father said his son is working to become an Eagle scout and has always been calm under pressure.

"I'm very proud of him," Bill McHugh said. "He knew what to do and he took action."

What's left of the car is parked at a police impound lot.

The train pushed it more than a hundred feet down the tracks, but thanks to the brave teen, nobody was inside when that happened.