A mayor has been hailed a hero after he pulled a mother and her three children to safety from their SUV stuck on railway tracks seconds before it was hit by a train.
Shocking images of the vehicle show its entire front end and engine bay demolished by the impact in the city of Vienna in the US state of Georgia, on 8th October.
Local mayor Eddie Daniels had spotted the stalled SUV on the tracks in the early hours of the morning and stopped to help the mum and her children aged six, three and one.
But as he was getting them out of the car, Mayor Daniels saw a train heading straight for them, according to local media.
He said: “I couldn’t let those babies sit there and get slaughtered by a train.”
The mayor added: “I seen a lady in trouble, and I knew I had to do what I had to do.” (sic)
Daniels first helped the mother out of the car before helping her three children.
He said: “I got the two small ones out. At that time, I seen the train and the six-year-old, I was pulling her out and that’s when the train hit.” (sic)
Astonishingly the mayor survived with minor injuries as debris from the SUV flew around him.
He said: “I remembered being between the train and the truck but still managed to get the last child out as the locomotive vehicle hit it and sent it flying.”
He sustained eight stitches to his head and a broken ankle but he is thankful that the family survived their ordeal.
He told local media: “I’m out here just doing God’s work, that’s what we’re supposed to do.
“And they told me I was a hero I said I don’t feel like a hero, just feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, what the people elected me to do.”
Police said later that the mother – named as Rodreka Morgan, 26 – was found to have been drinking.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Vienna Police Department, which said: “On October 8, 2022, at approximately 03:45, Officers responded to Union St. at the CSX railroad crossing near the police station in reference to a vehicle that had been struck by the train.
“Officers learned that a black SUV [driven] by Rodreka Morgan, age 26, had stalled on the tracks. A passing by motorist saw the vehicle on the tracks and noticed the train coming and got out to help.”
They added: “This investigation was turned over to the Georgia State Patrol.
“After the crash was investigated, it was determined that Morgan had alcohol in her system. Morgan was charged with DUI and 2 counts of Child Endangerment.”