A Flagman Crushed To Death, Rescuing A Child
( Originally Published 1902 )
AS I was waiting for a train at the Pennsylvania railroad depot at Pittsburg, Pa., I saw here and there groups of people in the street and went over to them to find what had happened. The flagman at the corner of Eleventh street and Liberty avenue had just been killed. He had been with the Pennsylvania railroad thirty-five years, twenty of which had been spent as flagman at street crossings. His name was William Carr. He never lost a life at his crossing during all the years of service, and he was known all over Pittsburg as " Faithful Old Bill." As the Fort Wayne express came rushing along two young ladies, accompanied by a child not more than seven years old, started to cross the tracks. The flagman, realizing that it was impossible for them to gain the other side before the locomotive would reach them, called to them to stop. The two women, hearing the signal, looked up, and but a few feet away they saw the engine about to strike them. In their fright and consternation they turned back, and left the helpless child standing in the middle of the track. The little one was so frightened it was unable to move. Carr, quickly realizing the awful fate that threatened the helpless girl, threw away his flag and made a leap for the little one. Catching her about the waist, he threw her to one side, and stepped back from the track just as the big engine brushed by. The heroic watchman, in his excitement did not notice the approach of an engine on the opposite track, and jumped directly in front of it, and his lifeless body was taken out from under the wheels. The little girl was picked up from the street where the hero had thrown her, and it was found that she was uninjured. She did not say, "A man that has been a railroad man for thirty-five years ought to have sense enough to keep out of the way of an engine." She did not say, " The man was paid for watching the crossing and that is was his duty to do so, and his own bad luck if an accident occurred to him." No, she wrung her hands and cried, and said, " I am so sorry that good man got killed. And just think, he died saving my life! I want to see him ; take me to him ; I want to kiss him; the lovely man that died for me." The watchman was so horribly mangled that they would not let the little girl see him.
" He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." Jesus Christ saved us from death, but in doing so he lost his own life. William Carr risked his life in saving the child, but hoped to preserve it ; Jesus rescued us, knowing that it would cost him his life to do so. The gratitude and love which the little girl had for the heroic flagman, are types of the gratitude and love we should have for our Divine Saviour.