On Monday, an Amtrak train derailed off an overpass in DuPont, Washington, killing three and injuring more than 100 others, including people on the highway. The train was on the first-ever high-speed trip on the Amtrak Cascades route, and the tracks had recently been upgraded to handle the new high-speed trains--but the train is believed to have been going too fast for the turn, causing the derailment.
Amidst the horrific images from yesterday's tragedy, one story of heroism stands out. Daniel Konzelman, a 24-year-old who attained the rank of Eagle Scout a few years ago, was driving to work when he saw the train derail. Konzelman, who is trained in first aid and emergency response, jumped onto the train to help rescue people who were injured. He was there before the police and fire departments arrived.
Konzelman told CBS News that he and another person ran down to the tracks, and attempted to take charge to respond to the derailment as nobody else was there. He said he was able to get people out of the train, and comfort someone who was pinned by the wreckage. He said he asked God for courage, wisdom, and protection while he was on the derailed train, risking his own life to help save others.
Watch the video:
"We were both in like in our dress clothes for work, and had a little bit of emergency response gear like a flashlight and some boots. So we threw those on and ran down to the tracks as fast as we could. And nobody was there, nobody was leading or responding to the incident," Konzelman told CBS News.
The train, which spilled over on to the highway below it, left at least three dead.
"I did my best to sort of take charge of the situation," he said. "Because I was up on the tracks on the bridge, I was able to just do a simple thing and get people out of the train cars and down to the freeway."
"There was a gentleman, he was pinned from the waist down, but he was so calm and he didn't look like he was injured," Konzelman recalled. "In that moment when I felt super helpless I realized like, I just want to be with this guy….So I grabbed his hand and I just talked to him….I rubbed his back, I just tried to make him as comfortable as he could be."
What an incredible story of heroism, bravery, and faith in an unexpected situation.