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Off-duty officer, other good Samaritans rescue driver moments before truck is hit by train

Posted at 9:50 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 23:50:32-04

CENTERVILLE, Utah — An off-duty West Valley City police sergeant had an unusual start to his shift Monday.

As Sgt. Kevin McLachlan was driving to the police station from Davis County, he encountered a serious accident on Interstate 15.

“I pulled over, ran over to the scene,” McLachlan said.

Utah Highway Patrol said the driver of the semi was most likely drowsy when the truck crashed and came to a stop near the train tracks.

Before emergency personnel arrived, McLachlan and other good Samaritans went to work.

“The driver, we could see through the windshield of the semi, he wasn’t very responsive,” McLachlan said.

Another truck driver stopped to assist and went inside the semi’s cab to provide aid to the driver.

No one who was helping had any idea a Frontrunner train was barreling down the track.

“I never heard the train coming,” McLachlan said. “It sounded like an explosion.”

The impact of the train hitting the cab caused McLachlan to be thrown a few feet.

Had the train passed through just moments earlier, he and the others could have been seriously hurt.

“Moments prior to the train hitting the semi, myself and two of the other citizens had been on that side, standing on the truck, assisting Mr. Baker in getting inside the cab to get to the driver track,” McLachlan said.

McLachlan suffered only a scratch above his eye. He realizes this could have been a major tragedy.

“It was just a miracle nobody was injured,” he said.

After he made sure everyone was safe, he continued his drive to work and completed his shift.

“Work’s gotta get be done and I’ll be here until the end of my shift,” he said.

Just another day at the office, that was unlike any he’s had before.

“I’ve never almost been hit by a train on my way to work, that’s for certain,” McLachlan said.

McLachlan wants to make it clear, he believes the real heroes in this incident are the civilians who risked their lives to help.