Following the Oakland Raiders win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, fans filtered out of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as they always do — some walking to their cars, others using BART to get home.
For BART supervisor John O’Connor, the postgame crowds were just another part of a standard football Sunday at the Coliseum BART Station – except it would soon take an extraordinary turn.
With more people flooding the loading platform awaiting the train’s arrival, one man tried to move further down the platform when he lost his balance and fell onto the tracks… just as a train barreled down the tracks toward him.
Realizing that the man’s life was in danger, O’Connor burst into action, reaching down and pulling him out of harm’s way just as the train sped by.
After bringing him to his feet, O’Connor embraced the man and comforted him after the traumatic experience. Had it not been for O’Connor, the man would’ve most certainly been killed.
"There really was no time to make a decision," said O'Connor during his press conference Monday. "I just looked and it just happened. It's really awkward to be called a hero. That's what we're supposed to do. We're all human beings, and life is precious."
Following the news of Sunday night’s incident, BART released footage of O’Connor’s heroics and the story has since gone viral.
While social media captured the heroic moment, the 24-year BART employee and his co-workers have assisted transporters in times of crisis on multiple occasions, and they don’t consider themselves heroes.
"We have procedures that we get trained on and follow on a daily basis," O'Connor explained. "It's second nature for a lot of us. You don't come to BART for a job and then just walk away. Very few do. They say BART family, and that's actually the truth. I've been here for 24 years, and there are a lot of good people here."
While O’Connor may not identify as a hero, this Thursday during the Oakland Raiders’ primetime game against the Los Angeles Chargers, he will be honored like one. The team will host him in front of Raider Nation as this week’s “Hometown Hero.”