A New Jersey police officer has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a despondent man lying on train tracks with mere moments to spare.
New Jersey Transit Officer Victor Ortiz sprang into action after a man jumped on the tracks at the Secaucus train station. Without hesitation, Ortiz jumped down to help.
The officer was able to pull the man to safety just as a train came plowing through the station.
Ortiz, a 16-year veteran of the department, told CBS News that he had no time to think about what he was doing.
“I saw the train rapidly approaching and in an instant I said to myself: ‘I’m going to have to let this guy go because... he’s going to take me with him,'” Ortiz told CBS News. “It’s just a matter of seconds there. On the flip side, I said to myself: ‘Let me give one more tug in hopes I can pull him through.'”
He said that the man wanted to be left alone on the tracks and the officer struggled to pull him to safety before the train came.
“At that point he’s like, ‘I just want to die, I just want to die,'” Ortiz told CBS News. “He pretty much went down on his knees and down on his arms. At that point I said: ‘You’re not going to die, you’re not going to die.'”
The entire incident was caught on surveillance cameras.
In a statement, the New Jersey Transit Authority said: "NJ TRANSIT could not be more proud of Victor Ortiz and of the New Jersey Transit Police Department and we hope this serves as a stark reminder of what these men and women do every single day to keep us safe throughout this state."