Witnesses of a train collision that killed a teenage boy and left his girlfriend in critical condition say they boy saved the girl from certain death by pushing her away from the tracks.
Mickayla Friend, 16, is in critical condition after the accident, which happened Friday around 7 p.m. when she and her boyfriend, Mateus Moore, were walking along railroad tracks in Marysville, Ca.
The couple was going to pick up some snacks for a school dance when a train struck the 16-year-old Moore, killing him at the scene.
Eric Stark, an 11-year-old who was at the nearby Little League field when the impact occurred, said Moore pushed Friend out of the way at the last second.
“I heard the train, and it was honking a lot, and it didn’t stop honking,” Stark told News 10. ”Right when they turned around, it was too late, and then the guy, he pushed the girl out of the way, but she still got hit by the train. And it sucked him in sort of and ran him over.”
Stark’s father, Shawn Stark, also saw the incident and believes that Moore’s actions saved the girl. “They would have both been underneath that train if he didn’t push her out of the way at the last second,” he told KCRA.
The girl’s family says Moore was “amazing.”
“He loved her more than anyone,” Friend’s sister, Alithya Friend, told News 10.
Officials say the train’s emergency brake system was initiated, but the train was unable to stop in time. Officials also say there is no evidence that either teen was intoxicated or wearing headphones.