This 19-year-old Auburn woman risked her life to save a 75-year-old man who got his motorized scooter stuck at a railroad crossing just as a train was approaching. Her name is Ashley Aldridge and she did a really heroic thing when she pulled the elderly man, Earl Moorman, out of his scooter just seconds before the train came.
“I’m just glad he’s OK,” Aldridge said on Tuesday a few hours after the incident. “The only thing going through my mind was, I hope he’s OK.”
Thanks to her quick thinking and bravery, he is. Aldridge lives near the railroad crossing where this incident occurred. When she saw Moorman on the tracks through her window, she was in the middle of making lunch for her two small kids. Luckily she was nearby when Moorman began calling for help and she was quick to act, asking a neighbor to watch her 1 and 2 -year- old while she went to see if she could assist the man calling for help. At that same moment, she heard the dreadful sound of the railroad crossing arms coming down and she knew she had to hurry.
“His back wheels were stuck on the track. They weren’t coming out,” Aldridge recalls. “I tried lifting the chair, but that didn’t work. Then I looked over and the train was right there. I was like, I’m going to keep trying. I tried again and I ended up lifting him just enough that I could tilt the wheelchair back and I started pulling him.”
This young lady simply pulled Moorman out of the chair and managed to get him clear from the tracks just moments before the train passed.
“Just as I pulled him back, the train hit his wheelchair. . . His wheelchair exploded as soon as the train hit it. There were pieces of his wheelchair clear on the other end of Auburn,” Aldridge said.
A helpful neighbor called the authorities to alert them to what had happened and a police car was soon on the scene on the other side of the tracks when the train passed.
Moorman’s son-in-law, Dave Beck came by to see the heroin later that night. “I was coming down to tell her thank you. I’ve hugged her I don’t know how many times today. It’s overwhelming. I can’t get over how much I’m in debt to her,” Beck said.
He added that it was an incredible feat for Aldridge to lift his father-in-law Moorman since he weighs about 200 pounds and that seemed like a lot for Aldridge to lift. “If she wasn’t there today with the window open, (my father-in-law) wouldn’t be here,” Beck said. “. . . He’s our life support. He’s our family. If we lost him, we’d lose everything.”