CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman from a tiny city near Springfield was being honored for saving the life of a disabled man whose wheelchair got stuck on a set of railroad tracks on Tuesday.
As he does every day, 75-year-old Earl Moorman was heading home from visiting his 99-year-old mother in a nursing home, when his motorized scooter became lodged in the tracks in Auburn, about 15 miles southwest of Springfield.
Two cars and a motorcycle went around Moorman, ignoring his shouts for help. Ashley Aldridge, who lives in a trailer nearby, heard Moorman, and ran to the crossing to try and get him off the tracks.
At first, there was no train in sight, so Aldridge tried to dislodge the wheelchair, but it wouldn’t budge. When she saw the gates come down, and heard a train horn, she began pulling him out of the chair. In desperation, the 130-pound Aldridge struggled to tilt the chair back far enough to drag the 200-pound Moorman out of the path of the train.
“I look up, and the train’s literally right there, and I did it one more time, and somehow managed to lift him up just far enough so we could tilt the wheelchair backwards,” she said. “As I’m pulling him back, the train knocked his wheelchair right out.”
The motorized scooter exploded into pieces, but thanks to the 19-year-old Good Samaritan’s efforts, Moorman escaped without a scratch.