Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Meet The Soldier Who Saved Lives During The Deadly Seattle Amtrak Train Derailment
On Dec. 18, a brand new Amtrak train endured a horrific accident during its inaugural trip from Seattle to Portland, Oregon: Rocketing along a stretch of track outside Tacoma at nearly 50 mph over the designated speed limit, the powerful locomotive derailed over an interstate highway, plunging from an overpass across multiple traffic lanes, taking its passenger cars with it.
Second Lt. Robert McCoy, an Army medic assigned to the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion,62nd Medical Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord just a few miles southwest of Tacoma, was driving along Interstate 5 when he saw the train fall from the overpass. “The train is going south and I’m just kind of driving, just driving,” McCoy told the local Fox News affiliate.
2nd Lt. Robert McCoy, soldier who helped save train passengers: "I couldn't afford to be scared, I couldn't afford to be shocked." pic.twitter.com/aTZQxDe6op
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 19, 2017
“I hear a loud noise and I look up and I see the train and it hits the concrete walls on the side and when it hits the walls — the walls kind of exploded — and the train just falls off.”
The scene was understandably chaotic. Unsuspecting passengers were catapulted from their seats, with survivors pinned beneath wreckage and trapped in bathrooms by the impact, screaming for help, the New York Times reports; one survivor told the newspaper that the incident “felt like the end of the world.”
But for McCoy, there was only one course of action: act.
The train plowed into three vehicles ahead of McCoy’s pickup truck, ejecting passengers over the highway. After stopping his truck, the soldier grabbed a CPR mask and tourniquet before rushing to aid survivors. (Representatives for Joint Base Lewis/McChord did not immediately respond to request for comment.)
There were individuals who had been ejected from the train onto the pavement,” McCoy said. “And so my first initial thought was, I don't know how stable this is. If this train continues to fall, it's gonna fall on these individuals."
After pulling survivors to safety, McCoy said, he and another volunteer rushed to evacuate one of the train cars suspended precariously over the highway, clambering onto the roof of a damaged semi-trailer truck. He told Fox News that "there were people yelling, there [were] people looking for each other, looking for loved ones."
At least three people were killed and around 100 were injured, according to National Transportation Safety Board officials. But the numbers could have been worse.
While local media have hailed McCoy as a hero, the soldier demurred: He was just doing what the Army trained him to do.
“I saw many people that were just paralyzed with fear and I don’t blame them at all,” McCoy told Fox News. "I couldn't afford to be scared, I couldn't afford to be shocked. I had to do what I am called to do, and focus and channel that, and help these people around me get to safety as best as possible."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.
‘I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’ — Mattis hits back at Trump for calling him the 'world's most overrated general'
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis decided to take on President Donald Trump's reported assertion that he is "overrated" at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City on Thursday.
"I'm not just an overrated general, I am the greatest — the world's most — overrated," Mattis said at the event, which raises money for charity.
"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," Mattis said. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals ... and frankly that sounds pretty good to me. And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories."
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
A Navy doomsday aircraft that would play a vital communication role in the event of a nuclear war had one of its four engines replaced this month after it struck a bird at a Maryland air station.