14-years on the force calling Lodi home, Officer Urrea didn’t hesitate for a second, and that made all the difference.
Lodi Officer Erica Urrea is being hailed a hero and rightfully so. Body cam footage uploaded and shared by the Lodi, California police department shows the decisive moment Urrea saved an elderly man in a wheelchair earlier yesterday (Aug 12, 2020,) his wheels stuck on the rails as a fast approaching train was headed towards him.
Check out the video for yourself below.
According to the video description, Urrea was out patrolling this area of town on Lodi Ave. early in the morning when she spotted the 66-year-old man stuck on the train tracks.
Not able to pull the wheelchair from its stuck location, Urrea did the next best thing and lifted the man from the chair.
It was so close that as she was lifting the man, the train hit the man’s legs bad enough to warrent a trip to the hospital.
Lodi police went on to say,
“We are extremely proud of Officer Erika Urrea and her heroism.“
Often I conjecture that if it wasn’t for someone’s quickness, things could’ve turned out differently, and in this case that’s 100 percent the truth. I don’t have to go into details of the physics involved with a multi-ton train and a person.
And can you imagine the relief the train conductor felt, knowing that the life he would potentially change for the worse ended up OK?
When Lodi News reached out to Officer Urrea for comment, no comment was given. As this happened literally hours before, that’s understandable.
Lodi News goes on to enumerate a laundry list of times Officer Urrea went above and beyond including performing CPR on another elderly man involved in a collision with a bus just last week and for her hard work in a particularly violent stabbing incident four years ago.
LN also mentions a grim incident on this exact location from July when a man near the train tracks was unfortunately hit by a train, succumbing to his injuries.
Here’s the crossing on Google Maps. With a gap only so small to allow a train wheel enough room to maneuver but large enough to get pedestrians in wheelchairs stuck, these crossings are not wheelchair friendly.
Perhaps this should be a powerful impetus for the city of Lodi to come up with a permanent solution to make this area wheelchair-safe.