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RPI Freshman Reuben Clarke Stopped Detached Train Cars; 'He Saved Our Lives'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

This Dec. 16, 2017 photo shows Amtrak's Coast Starlight train at Union Station in Los Angeles. Skip the hassles of traffic and airport security and hop on a coastal trek offering an old-fashioned, unplugged escape with scenic views of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is the destination on Amtrak's 35-hour Coast Starlight sleeper train, but the relaxing journey is the main attraction.(AP Photo/Nicole Evatt)
Nicole Evatt/Associated Press

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute freshman offensive lineman Reuben Clarke's quick thinking may have saved lives Wednesday night.

According to ESPN.com, Clarke pulled the emergency brake when he noticed two train cars detach from the rest of an Amtrak train in Rensselaer, New York.

Per CNN's Madeline Holcombe, passenger Helen Mary Crane credited Clarke with saving lives: "He saved our lives tonight. Our car broke off from the rest of the train and was picking up speed. There was no Amtrak personnel in our car. Reuben calmly went into action and pulled the emergency brake at the front of the car. Thankful he was on the train with my son and I."

Clarke spoke with CBS 6 News in Albany (h/t ESPN.com) after the incident to explain what went through his head: "The car from the back of the train was like leaving us, and I saw sparks and stuff like that and a huge gust of wind, so I just calmed myself down, and I was like, we have to stop the train and make sure everyone was fine."

No injuries were suffered as a result of the incident, but New York State Police are set to investigate the situation.

Clarke and the RPI Engineers are 9-1 this season, and they will face the Brockport Golden Eagles in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs on Saturday.

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