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Deputies Push Disabled Car Off Train Tracks, Avoid ‘Mass Transit Disaster’

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deputies Deputies Push Disabled Car Off Train Tracks, Avoid Mass Transit Disaster

Bystanders hailed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies Brian Tolmasoff and David Diot as heroes after averting a potential mass transit disaster. (courtesy LASD)

SANTA FE SPRINGS (CBSLA.com) — Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were being called heroes Wednesday after saving a stranded driver from disaster in Santa Fe Springs.

KNX 1070′s Brian Ping reports Deputies Brian Tolmasoff and David Diot were on their way to work when they saw a disabled vehicle stuck on Metrolink railroad tracks.

The two deputies were headed westbound on Rosecrans Avenue approaching the train tracks at Marquardt Street around 6:50 a.m. on Tuesday when they noticed the disabled Ford Escort station wagon with front end damage and a flat tire.

As trains from both directions barreled down on the intersection at upwards of 70 miles per hour, Sgt. Pauline Panis said Tolmasoff and Diot used their patrol vehicle – and some quick thinking – to avoid a mass transit disaster.

“The deputies used a patrol vehicle to push the disabled vehicle off the tracks,” said Panis. “They were successful in doing so, and within seconds, two trains crossed the tracks in opposite directions at a high rate of speed.”

The rescue happened in front of a number of witnesses who hailed the deputies as heroes.

The tracks – which are used by Metrolink and Amtrak trains – are typically at full capacity with passengers during the weekday morning commute, deputies said.

Whittier police are currently investigating the traffic collision that initially disabled the vehicle on the train tracks.

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