Stephanie Moreno of Manteca was presented the coveted Andrew Carnegie Award on Tuesday by Stockton Area CHP Captain Barry Koenig for saving a man as an ACE train was bearing down on his vehicle at 70 miles per hour.
The Andrew Carnegie Medal was created in 1904 to honor those who risk their lives saving or attempting to save others from death. It was presented by the CHP commander before officers at the Stockton CHP headquarters triggering a round of loud applause.
Described as a “miracle on the tracks” near the Highway 120 Bypass between West Yosemite Avenue and Interstate 5, the incident took place on June 8, 2016. Moreno pulled the passenger away from a 2004 Ford Explorer that left the freeway and plunged some 75 feet and onto the tracks.
Other motorists had stopped to help as well but when it was clear that the injured man was out of the car and seen leaning against his vehicle, they left the scene thinking there was nothing more they could do. The man, however, had a broken femur. Moreno said they both heard the blasts of the train’s horn and looked up to see it bearing down on them. Due to the broken femur, the man was unable to run.
With only seconds to react, she pushed him away and into a fetal position in an attempt to save his life. The impact of the engine flipped the vehicle over their heads, missing them by inches. The engineer said later that he thought he had killed both of them, not seeing them after the impact.
Moreno said she came upon the incident as she was riding her motorcycle westbound after the end of her work day as a Hospice Home Health nurse. She was on her way to visit a friend in Tracy. She remembers seeing the vehicle go off the freeway and catapult down the embankment for no obvious reason.
The nurse parked her motorcycle and jogged down the embankment getting both the woman driver out of the vehicle and helping the male passenger right himself, attempting to get him out of the SUV.
ACE presented her with her first lifesaving award and nominated her for the Carnegie Award that she received this week.
Moreno was hired by Doctors Hospital of Manteca after the incident and is serving in the Med Surge Department as a registered nurse.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.