Two Men Rescue Elderly Woman on Tracks

Men who rescued woman on Glenview tracks Wednesday discount their roles as heroes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Heroes downplay their roles in helping woman who collapsed on railroad tracks. (Published Thursday, Jun 2, 2011)

    It sounds like something out of a movie.

    Two men driving through downtown Glenview on Wednesday noticed an elderly woman on the train tracks and pulled her to safety just seconds before a train passed by.

    The woman had fallen on the railroad tracks near Glenview Road.

    "No, I'm not any kind of hero," stated Raul Heredia as he recounted his role in the rescue.

    He said he was driving east when out of the corner of his eye he saw the woman, who was using a walker, fall onto the tracks.

    "All I could see was her hand waving and asking for help," he said.

    He tried to lift the woman, later identified as 88-year-old Haya Rosenblat, but he couldn't move her.  He'd recently suffered two strokes.

    At that moment, he looked up and saw a northbound train barreling toward them on the tracks.

    Unbeknownst to Dr. Heredia, Adam Smiley, 34, happened to be passing by in his car a few seconds later. The Glenview gym trainer says he was astonished about not getting stopped at the railroad crossing that day, and so he happened to look down the tracks.

    "The train is a half-mile down and I look back down toward the road again, and I see what looks to be a hand and maybe half a head laying between the tracks," he said.  "I did a double-take, and I remember saying, 'Oh my God,' parking the car and running on the tracks."

    Smiley said he gave no thought whatsoever to risking his own life. 

    "The only thought, honestly, that went through my mind was that there's a little old lady on the railroad track and we've got to get her up," he said.

    Smiley lifted her up just as the train passed by.

    "It was close," said Heredia.

    Paramedics raced to the area after someone else called 911.  They stabilized Rosenblat, of the 900 block of Harlem, in Glenview, and rushed her to the hospital where she was treated for a deep cut to her forehead.

    A Metra spokesman said the woman will be OK.

    Smiley said he's happy that she's alright and glad that he was there at the right time.

    "Anyone who would have seen her like I saw her would have scooper her up without a doubt," he said.