Conductor’s quick action saves boy from being struck in Pa.

Published: August 25, 2020

A boy’s life was saved Aug. 14 and a potential tragedy averted thanks to the fast-thinking actions of Mike Bobrosky III, a member of Local 1006 (Brownsville, Pa).

Bobrosky III

That morning, Reese Pearson, 9, who has autism, ran off from his home in Morgan Township, Pa. His mom immediately called police, according to reports from KDKA TV-2 in Pittsburgh, and authorities began to search the remote wooded area for Reese.

Down the hill from the home traveling the Norfolk Southern line toward Waynesburg, Pa., conductor Bobrosky and his engineer were traveling southbound. As their train approached Wayne Tunnel nears Waynesburg, Bobrosky said he saw something fouling the track ahead.

“We were coming around a bend. He was in the middle of the gauge inside the tunnel, and we dumped it into emergency,” he said.

The train stopped inside the tunnel, just short of hitting the boy.

“It was inches.”

After the train stopped, they alerted authorities, who had been searching for Reese for quite some time, and coaxed him aboard the locomotive. The hungry boy received a ride to the next crossing from the crew, where authorities were waiting and reunited Reese with his worried mother.

The alertness of Bobrosky and the action he and his engineer took saved a life that day and serves as yet another example of how having two people in the cabs of freight trains makes a difference in safety, contrary to carriers’ arguments.

“It was a right-hand curve – I saw him way before the engineer,” Bobrosky said. “If it was a one-man crew, I don’t know if the train would have stopped.

“It made a difference having two on the crew.”