You’ve never heard of John O’Connor but you probably saw his amazing save before a crowd of Oakland Raiders fans this week.
O’Connor is the transit worker whose fast moves saved a man who slipped onto the tracks as a train approached Sunday. At the time, Raiders fans were crowded onto the platform of Oakland’s Coliseum Station after the team’s win against the Detroit Lions.
The Raiders will honor O’Connor as their “Hometown Hero” at the team’s Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Video of the the emotional aftermath captured by Raiders fan Tony Badilla went viral this week, capturing media attention.
O’Connor told CNN affiliate KPIX that he saw the man fall onto the tracks in his peripheral vision. He estimated the train was 60 feet away when he pulled the man up.
“I thought the train was going to cut him in half, honestly,” O’Connor told KPIX on Sunday. “I didn’t want to see this guy die.”
Both men were unhurt.
O’Connor, a former train operator promoted to transportation supervisor, has worked for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) for 24 years, according to the transit agency. BART hailed O’Connor as a “humble hero” and later released security camera footage of his incredible save.
Speaking to reporters on Monday at the Coliseum station, O’Connor said it felt really awkward to be called a hero.
“Good thing there wasn’t a Niners game yesterday or I would’ve been at home,” he told CNN affiliate KGO. “I’m just fortunate that God put me there and he got to see another day.”
O’Connor said that he told the man he rescued to pay it forward.