MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 25, 2018
Metro-North Employee Commended for Rescuing Unconscious Woman Trapped Inside Burning Overturned Car
Receives Special Recognition from MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced that Metro-North Railroad employee Brian Geary received special recognition from the Board for his extraordinary efforts saving an unconscious woman who was trapped inside of an overturned, burning car on the Taconic State Parkway on Thursday, April 19.  Geary received a commendation for his heroic actions from Chairman Joseph J. Lhota at this morning’s meeting of the MTA Board.

Geary, who resides in East Fishkill, New York, has been with Metro-North for about four years and works the night shift in the railroad’s Signal and Communications shop in Croton-Harmon.  He was driving on the Taconic at 2:30 in the morning on Thursday April 19, heading to an operations training course in North White Plains, when he passed a vehicle that was overturned and ablaze on a rocky ledge on the side of the road.

“I’ve never been one to sit around and wait for someone else to help.  Flames were burning through the engine of a rolled over car, with someone possibly trapped inside.  There was no time for waiting around.  I had to take action before it was too late.” said Geary. 

It was with that heroic spirit that Geary , who passed the off-ramp where the car was overturned, turned his vehicle back around and drove in the opposite direction on the off ramp to pull up to the crash site. Leaping out of his car, Geary grabbed his flashlight and called 911.

With the skies still dark, Geary beamed his flashlight into the car and saw an unconscious   woman wedged diagonally in the front of the vehicle.  The doors were locked; Geary shouted to the woman and pounded against the car window, but she remained unresponsive.

Two other drivers stopped to help, and the men attempted to rock the car upright.  As flames continued to envelop the car, Geary realized that he might have a fire extinguisher inside of his trunk.  When he opened his trunk, Geary didn’t see a fire extinguisher, but he did find a bat.  Geary plays baseball with a league in Dutchess County and had the bat stowed inside his trunk for an upcoming game.

Armed with a new plan of attack, Geary ran back to the overturned car with his bat and immediately starting swinging it into the windshield. “I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get her out in time, and I gave it everything I had,” he said, “every ounce of my strength.”   After a solid minute of pummeling the windshield with his bat, the glass started to spider and crack. Geary was able to rip out the windshield, and with the help of the other Good Samaritans, he lifted the woman from the car and to safety.

Within a minute of pulling the woman out of the vehicle, the car was completely engulfed in flames.  “We kept her a safe distance away from the vehicle, but we didn’t want to move her too much because she was injured,” said Geary. In response to Geary’s 911 call, the Yorktown Heights fire department then arrived and extinguished the flames, and the Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps took the woman to Westchester Medical Center.

“Brian Geary’s actions speak volumes about the extraordinary character of our employees at Metro-North,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “I’m proud to join the MTA Board in congratulating Mr. Geary for his valor and compassion.”