RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A police helicopter crew is being credited with helping to stop a train from colliding with a car that got stuck on its tracks in Riverside.

The Riverside Police Department says the chopper was working a call in the area of Panorama Road and Olivewood Avenue about 10:20 p.m. Saturday.

But, at the same time, police said a radio call came in reporting that a vehicle had lost control and rolled over. It came to a stop on railroad tracks in the area of Dewey Street and Streeter Avenue.

While flying overhead, the flight crew noticed the train was on the same set of tracks and was about two miles away from the car.

“They immediately flew ahead of the train and descended into the conductor’s field of view,” police said on the department’s Facebook page. “Using their spotlight, they signaled to the conductor to stop the train.”

Luckily, the train managed to stop about 40-feet east of the car. Its conductor said, had it not been for the flight crew signaling him, he would not have had enough time to stop the train.

Police said the driver of that vehicle was subsequently arrested and booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

CBS2’s Greg Mills spoke on Sunday to the police officers — Steven Quinn and Chris Tavaglione — who are being called heroes for the quick thinking that helped avert tragedy.

Neither believes they are heroes and said they were just doing their jobs.  The two men did “share knuckles” as they often do when they feel they’ve done a good job.

They also told Mills they would love to meet the train engineer — they were impressed with the job he did.



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