LEETONIA, Ohio (WYTV) – The Leetonia Police Department identified two good Samaritans who joined officers early Monday morning. They came out of nowhere to help at the scene of a deadly train accident.
Officers witnessed an immense tragedy — one they admit will be with them for the rest of their lives. But as those heroes desperately worked to save the elderly woman in that crash, they said two men stepped up to help them.
“Yesterday was a miracle,” Officer Alan Shaffer said. “It was very personal when both of those gentlemen came out of nowhere, honestly.”
“They were a Godsend,” Officer Logan Malik said. “It was absolutely crucial to have them there.”
Had they not been there, things may have been a lot different.
“Those two didn’t hesitate,” Chief Allen Haueter said.
“I don’t know how or why, but they just knew,” Shaffer said.
Police identified one of the men as Glenn Buzzard who lives nearby in Leetonia.
Wednesday morning, after WYTV reported the story, they were able to identify the other man – Jeremy Linderman — who helped administer first aid. Chief Haueter said Linderman’s neighbor contacted police after seeing his photo on the news and recognizing him.
“Phenomenal,” Malik said. “He did a great job.”
Malik has been with the department for about a year-and-a-half. He was the first on the scene Monday.
As Malik desperately tried to help 92-year-old Ronald Davies and his 89-year-old wife, Sally, get out of their SUV as it sat on the railroad tracks, the crossing gate came down. A train was coming at about 45 to 50 miles per hour.
Police said the woman refused to leave the car without her dog.
“I remember the one gentleman, the first one on the scene, actually got the dog out of the vehicle for me,” Malik said. “He was attempting to get to the female but he kind of ran out of time, so then I made my attempt.”
“Officer Malik — how close he came to impact with the train. He waited until the very last second,” Haueter said.
As all of this was happening, Shaffer — who wasn’t even on duty at the time — was making his way to the scene. He heard the sirens from home and knew something was wrong.
“When I got down the street, I saw the train stopped and his lights hitting off it, so I knew,” Shaffer said.
Both Malik and Shaffer are so grateful to the two men who stopped at nothing to help. They’d like to personally thank the men.
“I think if we had not had their help, things would have turned out a lot differently and I just want to thank you and I owe you,” Shaffer said.
“We’d really like to recognize them because they went above and beyond,” Haueter said.
The department is also thankful for the community’s flood of support and well wishes.
“It’s nice to see everybody just appreciating the effort and for them to be there for everyone involved has just been phenomenal,” Malik said.
Haueter said Ronald Davies remains in serious, critical condition in the intensive care unit at St. E’s in Youngstown.