LOCAL NEWS

FrontRunner Engineer Shares Story After UHP Trooper Saves Man’s Life

Oct 16, 2019, 8:02 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2019, 2:23 pm

CENTERVILLE, Utah — The engineer who was operating the FrontRunner train that collided with a car in Davis County called the Utah Highway Patrol trooper who pulled the driver to safety a hero in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

Riley Nelson said he was operating the train Wednesday morning when he saw something on the tracks in Davis County.

Nelson said he wasn’t sure what it was because of the headlights from morning rush traffic on I-15 and Union Pacific tracks that run parallel to UTA tracks in the area.

As the train approached, Nelson said he realized it was a car on the tracks.

UTA Releases Train Camera From FrontRunner Vs. SUV Crash

YIKES! We just got this video from UTA. It's the dash video from the FrontRunner train involved in yesterday's crash. The operator was able to slow the train down enough to give the trooper an extra few seconds to save the unconscious driver of the SUV stuck on the tracks!

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, October 17, 2019

“I threw on the emergency brake, and prayed that I was wrong and I wouldn’t hit anything,” Nelson said in the post. “For a split second I thought I would stop short, but trains take a long time to stop.”

UTA spokesperson Carl Arky said Nelson activated the emergency brake when the train was 21 seconds from impact; in that time, the train was able to slow from 79 mph to approximately 30 mph, giving UHP trooper Ruben Correa enough time to pull the driver from the car.

“If he had made the decision seconds later, it would have been a disastrous outcome,” Arky said.

“Just as they went out of view, I saw the Trooper physically haul the guy out of the car barely even a second before impact,” Nelson said in the post. “I felt immediately that they were safe, and that despite appearances, God answered my daily prayer. Every morning, I pray to Heavenly Father and ask that He protect me and all those around and on my train. This morning, I know He did, and I thank Him for that.”

Nelson also said his train left five minutes late because he missed an employee shuttle due to short staffing Wednesday. He said the delay meant he reached the area of the crash about three minutes later than normal.

“That means I would have most certainly hit the car and this would most likely be a fatality accident,” he said.

“I’m grateful my shuttle van was late. I’m grateful I left the station late,” Nelson said. “I’m grateful Trooper Correa put his life on the line. I’m grateful for the quick response by the emergency crews in reacting to the accident. Most of all, I’m grateful the driver survived without any serious injury. God is good, all the time.”

UTA officials said video of the crash from the train will be available in the near future.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

7 arrested in drug trafficking investigation in Utah and Salt Lake counties

Utah County law enforcers served search warrants on four homes simultaneously last week, resulting in the arrests of seven people and the seizure of multiple pounds of meth and heroin.
20 hours ago
First responders on the scene of the motorcyclist who fell about 50 feet. (Washington County Sherif...
Michael Houck

Rescue crews save woman stuck in remote area and motorcyclist who fell 50 feet

Washington County officials responded to two different search & rescue operations on Sunday.
20 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
Michael Houck

Backcountry skier dies after slipping, falling near Lisa Falls

A man is dead after tumbling a "significant distance" while backcountry skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday.
20 hours ago
USU student Max Shulga during Saturday night's game....
Shelby Lofton

Utah State community responds to ‘Russia’ chants directed at Ukrainian player

Some USU students say that the Colorado State University students crossed a line that goes beyond simple trash talk during a game.
20 hours ago
The collapsed awning at the Wing Pointe Apartments (Heber City Police Department)...
Michael Houck

Snow collapses awning at a Heber apartment complex

Six cars were trapped under a collapsed awning after the Sunday afternoon snowfall. 
20 hours ago
Image of the scene where police witnessed a wrong-way driver crash in Salt Lake City (Salt Lake Cit...
Chandler Holt, KSL Newsradio

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

A Salt Lake City police officer witnessed the truck crossing the medium several times before losing control and crashing into an embankment Saturday night.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
FrontRunner Engineer Shares Story After UHP Trooper Saves Man’s Life