Good Samaritan honored after pulling man from car stuck on train tracks before Sugar Grove crash

Car was stuck at BNSF Railroad Barnes Road crossing, near Prairie Street, Kane County officials said
GENEVA, Ill. (WLS) -- A man was honored Tuesday morning in Kane County for saving the life of another man from an oncoming train last month.

It was a hero's honor in Kane County Tuesday, as officials presented Lewis Medina with the Citizen of the Year Award.

It was a recognition months in the making, after Medina saved a man's life.

"I just felt I had do something, had to help him!" Medina said.

It was back in October when Medina said he saw a car stuck on the tracks at the BNSF Railroad Barnes Road crossing, just north of Prairie Street in Sugar Grove.

Medina left his car on the side of the road to check on the 72-year-old driver, who apparently was suffering from a medical issue and couldn't move.

"And then, I just said, 'we have to get out in case a train comes,' and then a train started coming, and that's when all the chaos started," Medina said.

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Just as he got the driver out of the vehicle and down the bottom of the hill, he said the train collided with the car, leaving it a mangled mess.

"We measured from the track to the bottom of the hill and it was 17 feet. And when you hear the 911 call, it's almost like six seconds, once I got him down the hill and I looked up to the right, and I see car parts flying everywhere," Medina said.

It's an award the Kane County sheriff doesn't take lightly, as Medina received recognition for his heroic efforts.

"He is an absolute hero in the public. From pulling a person from a car and preventing them from being struck by a train to just being a general good citizen -- that is what a hero is," Sheriff Ron Hain said.

This award is the first of its kind given to a citizen since the sheriff took the position in 2018.

The driver is doing OK; although, he didn't show up Tuesday.

Medina said the last time he spoke to him was that fateful night, and he's eager to unite with him again.
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