TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A 17-year old southwest suburban boy has every reason to count his blessings after a close call with a Metra train.
WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports Bill Anetsberger’s car ran out of gas on a set of Metra tracks in Tinley Park on Halloween morning.
“Right when I get on the tracks, my engine just starts sputtering, and my car just died,” Anetsberger said. “It was just a moment of, ‘Oh my God, what do I do?”
With a Metra train bearing down on him, a stranger in a blue minivan hopped out and rushed up to help the high school senior push the car off the tracks just in time.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya Reports
“It was a very close call,” Anetsberger said. “At the end, I was out of breath, and I didn’t even really do anything physically exhausting, it was just so scary.”
He said he knew his fuel gauge was on E when he left for school Wednesday morning, but gassing up would have to wait until after school, because he was running very late. A power outage the night before had reset his alarm clock, and he’d already slept through two classes.
After the stranger helped him push the car out of the way of the train, he just left.
“I only got to yell ‘Thank you’ at his window as he was driving by. I didn’t get to see him face-to-face.
His mother, Linda Anetsberger, ran to check on Bill when he called her afterward.
“Just like a newborn; to check his fingers, and toes, and head, and to make sure everything was okay, and to give him a big hug,” she said.
Linda said she’s as happy as the day her son was born that he’s okay.
“I have a list on the wall of dos and don’ts,” she said. “Know your schedule, be on time, wear your retainer, and then always it’s at least a quarter tank of gas – never less than a quarter tank of gas.”
The Anetsbergers said they don’t know who the Good Samaritan was, but they’re very grateful to him.
They both had a message for the stranger.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I pray for your health and happiness,” Linda said.
“God bless you. Thank you for being that great citizen that was there to help me out,” Bill said.