When Bryan Ellul captured dramatic footage of a Metra train slamming into a truck in a Chicago suburb, he knew he could have been filming a tragic moment. But Ellul is instead being hailed a hero because just moments before he hit record, he helped pull the driver to safety.
"I had no other reaction but to go and help," Ellul said. "No other thought crossed my mind."
Around 7:30 p.m. Friday, Ellul and other witnesses rushed to the scene where a truck was stalled, unmoving as the train approached the intersection in suburban New Lenox, close to the town’s Metra station.
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"I don’t know what kind of condition he was in, we didn’t know," he said. "We all approached knowing that there was a vehicle on the railroad tracks and something needed to happen."
Ellul and other good Samaritans ran to the truck and pulled the driver out, the sound of the approaching train echoing in the distance.
"We pulled the gentleman from the vehicle and gave him to medic and we could see the train coming at that point," he recalled.
Metra said the train that hit the vehicle was an equipment train and had no passengers on board. It remains unclear why or how the driver became stuck on the tracks, but Ellul said he’s just happy witnesses were able to save his life.
"Some complete strangers saw somebody that needed help and we all stopped to help somebody we didn’t know," he said.
The driver's identity and his condition were not immediately known Monday.