+
upworthy
Joy

Heroic train conductor spots and saves 3-year-old autistic, nonverbal boy lost on tracks

He was dangerously close to the third rail.

mta, mta rescue, metro north

An MTA employee rescues a 3-year-old child on the tracks.

Five Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees are hailed as heroes for their quick thinking and diligence in the April 6 rescue of a young boy. Locomotive Engineer William Kennedy was operating a southbound Hudson Line train near Tarrytown, a few miles north of New York City, when he noticed an unusual object on the northbound track.

That “object” was a 3-year-old boy.

Kennedy sent an emergency call out to all trains in the area, catching the attention of a northbound conductor, Shawn Loughran, and a trainee. Loughran slowed down his train as he approached the child, who was straddling the electrified third rail.

When the train screeched to a halt, Assistant Conductor Marcus Higgins didn't waste a second. Leaping down the tracks, he sprinted 40 yards ahead of the train, scooping up the young child like a guardian angel.


"The timing couldn't have been more perfect, you know. If it was a minute later [or] a minute sooner I wouldn't have seen him," Kennedy told Fox 5 New York, adding that if the child would have touched the third rail, he "would have been hurt really bad."

"Physically, he seemed ok, we didn't know at the time that he was autistic, non-verbal,” Higgins told Fox 5. When they got him off the tracks, Higgins says he “had a smile on his face."

Safely cradling the little one, Higgins whisked him on board the train, and the crew set off towards Tarrytown Station. When they arrived, they were greeted by MTAPD officers and Tarrytown EMS, ready to ensure the child's safety.

During the daring rescue, the boy's mother and sister frantically looked for the child. They were spotted by police sobbing on a street corner. The police put two and two together and reunited the boy with his family at the station. The mother told the MTA employees that the boy was autistic and nonverbal.

Five MTA employees were awarded commendations for their daring rescue of the boy.

mta, mta commendation, catherine rinaldi

MTA Metro-North President and Interim Long Island Rail Road President Catherine Rinaldi presents heroism commendations to Metro-North Assistant Conductor Marcus Higgins and Locomotive Engineer William Kennedy at the Railroad Committee meeting at Headquarters on Monday, Apr 24, 2023.

Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA

“These fine team members embodied the qualities we want our employees to exhibit while on duty, alert, responsive, knowledgeable and helpful,” Metro-North Railroad President and Interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi said. “With the bravery and calm comportment of superheroes, they averted a horrific outcome and saw to it that this little boy was not going to become a statistic. We salute their efforts and compassion and heartily thank them for their dedication to the people we serve.”

chris fraina, max chong, mta

Chris Fraina (left) and Max Chong (right) are signal maintainers who saw the mother crying while on their way to work and, having heard about the found child, approached the mother. Reunion with the child followed at Tarrytown Station.

Photo credit: Rob Cervini/Metro-North Railroad

“Everybody’s quick thinking and the perfect timing allowed us to get this child off the tracks and back to his family,” Kennedy said in a statement. “In the heat of the moment, when you see a child in this situation, your first instinct is to make sure they’re safe,” Assistant Conductor Marcus Higgins said in a statement. “I’m glad our crew was there and able to help.”

“I’m just so happy it all worked out, and everything fell into place,” Locomotive Engineer Shawn Loughran said.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that we were able to help reunite this family,” Signal Maintainer Christopher Fraina said. “In those minutes that must have felt like hours to them, I’m so glad we were in the right place at the right time.”

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

One man turned nursing home design on its head when he created this stunning facility

"What if we design an environment that looks like outside?" he said. "What if I can have a sunrise and sunset inside the building?



92-year-old Norma had a strange and heartbreaking routine.

Every night around 5:30 p.m., she stood up and told the staff at her Ohio nursing home that she needed to leave. When they asked why, she said she needed to go home to take care of her mother. Her mom, of course, had long since passed away.

Behavior like Norma's is quite common for older folks suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Walter, another man in the same assisted living facility, demanded breakfast from the staff every night around 7:30.

Keep ReadingShow less

The grandmother was suspicious.

A grandmother always felt her middle granddaughter Lindsay, 15, looked slightly different from the rest of the family because she had blonde, curly hair, while the rest of her siblings’ hair was dark “I thought genetics was being weird and I love her,” she wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum.

But things became serious after Linday’s parents “banned” her from taking things a step further and getting a DNA test. If the family was sure their daughter was theirs, why would they forbid her from seeking clarity in the situation? After the parents laid down the law, the situation started to seem a little suspicious.

“I told my son and [daughter-in-law] that there was something fishy around her birth she needed to know. They denied it and told me to leave it alone,” the grandma wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

7 things Black people want their well-meaning white friends to know

"You, white friend, need to speak up and say something when I can't."

Growing up black in a white neighborhood.

I grew up black in a very white neighborhood in a very white city in a very white state.

As such, I am a lot of people's only black friend.

Keep ReadingShow less

Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway.

Charles Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet’s closest business partner, passed away on Tuesday, November 28, at 99. Buffett and Munger's partnership lasted over 50 years, producing Berkshire Hathaway, one of the largest and most successful conglomerates in history.

When Munger passed, his estimated worth was $2.6 billion. Buffet, 93, is believed to be worth $119 billion.

But Munger was far more than just a wealthy man. Apple CEO Tim Cook called Munger a “keen observer of the world around him,” and he was known for his pithy bits of common-sense wisdom known as “Mungerisms.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

If you're grieving a loved one this holiday season, here's a gift you can give yourself

After losing her almost-4-year-old daughter to epilepsy, Kelly Cervantes created a "grief companion" that meets people wherever they are in their grief journey.

Images courtesy of Kelly Cervantes

Kelly Cervantes wrote her way through grieving the loss of her daughter, Adelaide.

Kelly Cervantes begins the Introduction to her book with five words: "Grief sucks. It's also weird." It's a concise truth that anyone who has lost a loved one knows all too well.

Grief is a universal experience—none of us get through life without loss—but it's also unique to each person. Most of us are familiar with the popular "stages of grief" theory, but denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (along with guilt and a host of things) are less like sequential rungs on a ladder and more like pools you fall into at various times as you stumble your way through the grief process. Grief is not linear and it's not neat and tidy and it's not predictable.

Take it from someone who's been there. Kelly Cervantes lost her daughter, Adelaide, to epilepsy just shy of her 4th birthday. Using writing as a therapeutic tool to help her process Adelaide's medically complex life, death and everything that came after, Kelly created the book she wished she'd had as she was trying to navigate her own grieving process.

Keep ReadingShow less