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According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a “hero” is a “person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.”

There is a genuine hero residing right here in the little village of Lodi. Sam Huffman is just 20 years old, but fellow Lodian and octogenarian Marguerite Jones is alive because of his selfless courage.

Jones, who utilizes a wheelchair, was en route to a party this past Saturday night. As she crossed the railroad tracks that bisect Lodi to get to what folks here refer to as the “east side,” the wheels became entangled in the rail, leaving her trapped in the path of an oncoming train traveling at an estimated 40 miles per hour.

By the time Huffman, who had heeded a stop sign at the adjacent intersection, heard the train approaching, the crossing arms were down, the warning lights flashing, and the bells ringing. He glanced in his rear view mirror, saw Jones, and took action: He threw his truck into reverse and sped to Jones’ side, jumped out of his truck, and pulled her out of the wheelchair.

“I probably got three steps away (from the tracks) before (the train) hit her wheelchair,” Huffman said.

Lodi Police estimate that the train missed Jones and Huffman by a mere three feet.

In fact, the engineer stopped the train after it struck and destroyed Jones’ wheelchair, thinking that the locomotive had, in fact, hit Jones and Huffman.

Downplaying his remarkable act of courage, Huffman told KXTV News that he reacted, but only realized what he’d done later. “I’m just really glad I got the opportunity to save a life. Because not everybody gets that opportunity.”

Jones, who suffered no injuries, was shaken, but convinced that Huffman was an angel sent by God to rescue her. “He put him here so he could pull me off the tracks,” she said.

It was inspiring to pick up the Lodi News-Sentinel this morning and, in the midst of reports about escalating gas prices, the sputtering economy, California’s ongoing fiscal crisis, and various natural disasters, find this story about Huffman’s bravery. There is indeed a hero “stuck in Lodi.”


  1. Great news there. God do work in a mysterious way. That show us that God do exist!

  2. Wow, I’m glad she was alright. And what an amazing person that guy was for risking his life to save another. Its nice to hear selfless stories like this. It makes me feel like the world isn’t all that bad of a place.

  3. This is really inspiring.

    It is quite a feat for Sam to risk his own life to save another.

    Thank you for highlighting this. Hope the Government recognises this tremedous act of bravery and selflessness.


    fathersezs last blog post..Progress Update – My goat farm

  4. South Yorkshire Jobssite

    He id really a hero.Thanks for the news.

  5. What a cute name for a city. I love the way you describe it making it so appealing to me.

  6. Lodi is lucky to have such an angel. Thanks for sharing an inspiring news.

    Bong (JB)s last blog post..Bloody Darfur for Blog Catalog’s Bloggers Unite for Human Rights!

  7. Very inpiring story! I love it. I love the way you describe it making it so appealing to me.

  8. I think that deeds like this one are something that can change person’s life. Like this young man said, he never actually decided anything, he just acted. It is a perfect opportunity to see what is life all about. In moments where there is no time for thinking how much you get and how much you lose, we show our true nature. I’m glad to hear good natured person was near the tracks for Jones that day.

  9. OMG! A very nice and brave guy indeed. But downright dumb as well. It’s good to hear that both of them made out alive. I guess as long as all ends well nothing else matters. =)

  10. VeraBradley

    It’s good to know that there are still kind souls out there that are willing to risk their lives for sake of others. Also, never cross rail tracks on a wheel chair!

  11. There’s always someone in this world who cares. Helping people no matter what.

  12. The man’s a hero, no more no less. We never know what we’re made of until something extraordinary happens, that’s for sure. As fathersez says, the man should be honored by the government for his heroic act.

  13. free blogs

    This is truly inspirational to all of us, we can all learn from this incident..

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    That made me shed tears! Such a heroic act by someone who doesn’t even know the other person. It takes real guts and courage to do something like that, to put your life in the line just to save someone elses life.

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