Dramatic Video Shows BART Worker Saving Man Who Fell in Front of Train

A BART transportation supervisor is being called a hero after pulling a man up from the tracks just seconds before a train sped through.

John O'Connor's quick thinking likely saved the man's life on Sunday evening at Oakland's Coliseum Station. Video from a BART security camera shows O'Connor jumping forward to help the man scramble back up onto the platform just seconds before the train arrives.

The man's name has not been released.

According to a BART spokesperson, the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, was very intoxicated and accidentally misstepped, falling into the trackway while a train was approaching around 5:20 p.m. Sunday.

O'Connor, who has worked for BART for 24 years, was managing crowd control at the station after the Oakland Raiders game against the Detroit Lions.

After the man fell, O'Connor quickly grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him up, rolling him onto the platform. The two hugged, surrounded by an awed crowd — a moment that was caught on camera by a witness catching the train home.

Witness Tony Badilla also noted it was O'Connor's attentiveness that allowed him to act so quickly. Badilla said, on Twitter, "He was actively keeping the postgame crowd clear from danger while helping riders to their trains. The positive outcome of this event is a direct result of John's attentiveness!"

As the man approached the edge of the platform, people in the station were yelling at him to get back and that a train was coming.

O'Connor, who worked as a BART train operator before being promoted to supervisor, said he saw the man fall out of the corner of his eye and saw the train coming.

"I was standing on the yellow strip, telling people to stay back, looking (north) toward Lake Merritt when, in my peripheral vision, I saw him fall—almost like he missed a step going up a stairway, and he ended up in the trackway," said O'Connor. "Everybody was telling him, 'Get out of the trackway, a train's coming.' "

"I thought the train was going to cut him in half, honestly. I didn’t want to see this guy die," he said.

The man was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation, according to BART officials. There were no injuries. BART officials also noted someone falling onto tracks accidentally is rare.

O'Connor was honored at a press conference Monday at the Oakland Coliseum. The Antioch resident said, as a former train operator, he also knew the horror the operators feel at seeing someone on the tracks in front of them.

Even after the video went viral online, though, O'Connor remained humble about his act of heroism.

"I just did what I did," he said. "I just thank God I was there."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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