NEW YORK (WABC) -- The child's mother stepped onto the train and hugged her little boy, crying tears of joy. He'd been missing for more than an hour. What she didn't know is that he'd tumbled over a wall and crawled into the path of a Metro North commuter train.
It was engineer William Kennedy who first spotted the child alongside the tracks, and jammed on the brakes after barreling past the boy at 70 miles per hour.
"I got four kids so as soon as I saw it was a child, instantly 'daddy' kicked in and, 'We gotta' save this kid," Kennedy said. "We got to do something right away.'"
Kennedy radioed desperately to the train headed northbound out of Tarrytown and ordered rail controllers to kill power to the third rail. Conductor Marcus Higgins was onboard that train.
"Finally, we see the child," Higgins said. "He's in the gauge of the track at this point. So he's in between the running routes. So we stopped the train. I was like, 'I'll jump out,' got the door open, jumped out."
And with that, Higgins runs headlong down the tracks in this video obtained by Eyewitness News. But the boy continues crawling toward the third rail. And with the rail still energized, he climbs up and over it. Saved only by the wooden safety plank above it.
"He had climbed over the third rail," Higgins said. "So, God forbid, you know, this could have gone in a totally different direction. Thank God it didn't. I scooped him up, got into the right of way, just walked him back to the train, got him on the train. And we reversed back to Tarrytown.
Minutes later, the boy would be reunited with his mother.
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