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."
CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.