Walters native witnesses Amtrak derailment in Washington

(Source: Robert McCoy)
(Source: Robert McCoy)
(Source: Robert McCoy)
(Source: Robert McCoy)

DUPONT, WA (KSWO) - A deadly passenger train derailment in Washington state on Monday is hitting close to home after a Walters native was one of the first people on the scene.

2nd. Lt. Robert McCoy was assigned to a nearby post when he saw the crash. He said he was on his way back from physical training when he watched the derailment happen right in front of him.

"I heard a loud noise and when I looked up the train was coming off the bridge...or was fixing to," he said. "It had just hit the barrier and broke the concrete."

That's when Robert McCoy slammed on his brakes.

"I was about 100 to 150 feet away," he said. "If I had been going faster than the speed limit there's a strong likely hood that it would've been me that the train hit when it was derailing."

After witnessing the derailment, McCoy immediately jumped into action,  grabbing the CPR mask and tourniquet that was in his pickup.

"I didn't have time to think," McCoy recalled. "I just acted and went through the motions because that's what I knew to do in that circumstance."

He assessed the situation and moved fast, helping those who were ejected from a cart and were under the rail car hanging from the bridge.

"My main concern was getting them out from under the train, as many individuals as I could," McCoy said. "We were successful in that we got the individuals that had been ejected and got as many as we could to the proper treatment."

Once he helped those people, he moved to the next car that was dangling off the bridge while waiting for EMT and firefighters to arrive.

"It was really helping individuals off, helping individuals who could not walk on their own power," he said.

McCoy was there for about three hours, and said it's a day he will never forget.

"It's encouraging seeing people unite during such a hard time, for sure," he said. "It's been a lot to take in, a lot to process, no one expects to find themselves in a situation like this at all."

McCoy said his thoughts and prayers will be with those hurt and the families of those killed.

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