YouTube | Lodi Police Department

Police Officer Saves Man In Wheelchair From Oncoming Train In Heart-Stopping Video

When a California police officer realized a man in a wheelchair was trapped in the path of an oncoming train, she flew into action, bravely risking her own life to pull the man to safety.

As NBC News reported, Lodi police officer Erika Urrea's body cam captured the heart-stopping moment she put herself in the path of the freight train in an effort to save the man whose wheelchair had become trapped in the tracks.

On August 12, 36-year-old Officer Urrea was on patrol when she noticed the man wasn't moving from the tracks, even as the arm came down to indicate an incoming train.

YouTube | Lodi Police Department

"So I happen to kind of look to the side and notice there was a man in a wheelchair, and he seemed to be almost wiggling, like he was stuck," she told NBC News.

It appeared that the wheels of the man's chair had become lodged in the tracks, and he was unable to move forwards or backwards.

Footage from Urrea's cam shows the cop sprinting from her parked squad car to reach the trapped man as the train signal continues to sound.

YouTube | Lodi Police Department

"Can you get up?" she asks, audibly sounding panicked as she begins unbuckling him from the seat and tugging on his arm.

Although we can't see the train at this point in the body cam footage, its fast approach is evident, and in just a matter of seconds, it's almost reached the spot where the officer is struggling to free the man.

Acting quickly, Urrea yanks him up from his seat and drags him away from the tracks just seconds before the Union Pacific train plows through his remaining wheelchair.

YouTube | Lodi Police Department

Both Urrea and the man fall to the ground as the locomotive speeds past them, and the officer calls for an ambulance as she returns to the gentleman to continue pulling him farther away from the tracks.

All told, it only took 13 seconds from the time Urrea left her squad car for the train to crash into the thankfully-empty wheelchair.

In the aftermath of her heroic rescue, Urrea, a 14-year vet of the Lodi Police Department, said she didn't have time in that moment to be afraid.

Lodi Police Department

"I was trying to figure out 'OK, where's the train? I don't know how fast the train is going. How much time do I have?'" she recalled to NBC News. "But my goal was, 'I need to get him off the tracks.'"

Watch the full video below.

Of course, she said she's since had a hard time watching her own body cam footage of the terrifying moments leading up to the train's arrival.

"Honestly, it seems like I'm watching someone else's video," Urrea admitted. "It's very surreal ... It was scary to watch."

She also said her rescue will likely remain with her as "the most memorable ... probably the scariest incident that I've been involved with so far."

The 66-year-old man in the wheelchair was taken to hospital with a leg injury and is reportedly in stable condition.

Unsplash | Dodi Achmad

"As the incident happened very quickly we believe the chair wheel was stuck in the groove between the railroad track and the cement," Lodi police Lt. Michael Manetti said in a statement on Facebook.

"Officer Urrea risked her own life to save another and her actions prevented a tragedy today. We are extremely proud of Officer Erika Urrea and her heroism."

Despite the praise from her colleagues and those who've seen the viral video of her rescue, Urrea doesn't think she's a hero.

YouTube | Lodi Police Department

"I honestly don't think I did anything special. I know all the people that I work with would have done the same thing," she told NBC News.

"I just did what I felt that anybody in my situation would have done and something that I felt like, if that was my family member or friend that was stuck, I would want someone to come out and help."

h/t: NBC News, YouTube | Lodi Police Department

Filed Under: