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Union, railway to honor New York & Atlantic employees’ heroic actions

GLENDALE, N.Y. — Three employees of the New York & Atlantic Railway (NYA) will be honored as heroes Saturday, November 10, for their quick actions in September when they saved the life of a woman lying on the track in a Brooklyn railway tunnel.

The honorees, conductor Rommel Primus, brakeman Connor Ray, and engineer William Bagley, will be recognized by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Division 269 and the NYA Railway at an annual union dinner in Woodbury, N.Y.

“These men are 100 percent true professionals,” says Kevin Sexton, Division 269 general chairman. “They responded to the situation selflessly and their actions were heroic. All three played key roles in making this happen.”

While switching a train on the night of September 5 at the Bay Ridge Interchange Yard in Brooklyn, Primus and Ray were riding on the rear car as it backed into the tunnel beneath 4th Avenue. In the darkness, the crew suddenly spotted the woman lying on the track and not moving.

Primus called out to engineer Bagley to stop the train and Ray, riding on the same side of the car as the woman, jumped to the ground and ran to pull her out of the way. However, the train severed her right foot.

Primus, an US Army veteran with medical training, used a tourniquet to stop the woman’s bleeding while Ray ran to summon aid at the nearby New York Police Department station at 63rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The victim, who is 80, later was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

Engineer Bagley lives in Middle Village and has been a NYA employee since 2004. Primus resides in Elmont and Ray in Glendale; both have been with the railroad since 2016.

“We’re very proud of our crew and the courageous way they prevented a real tragedy,” says Marlon Taylor, NYA vice president. “Their actions are symbolic of the way our railway works to promote a safe culture for employees and the public.”

New York & Atlantic Railway (www.anacostia.com/railroads/nya), a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, operates on 270 route miles of track owned by the Long Island Rail Road and began freight service in May 1997.

The entire train crew will receive awards Saturday evening at BLET Division 269’s 51st Annual Retirement and Dinner Dance at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

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About Anacostia Rail Holdings
Anacostia Rail Holdings Company operates six short-line railways in seven states. In addition to the New York & Atlantic Railway, Anacostia’s other lines include Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad, Gulf Coast Switching Company, Louisville & Indiana Railroad Company, Northern Lines Railway, and Pacific Harbor Line.

About Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). BLET is North America''s oldest rail labor union and was founded on May 8, 1863 as the Brotherhood of the Footboard. A year later, its name was changed to The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The BLE merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and became the BLET on January 1, 2004.

Thursday, November 8, 2018
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