A blind man was crediting his service dog “Orlando” for saving his life when he had a dizzy spell while walking along the platform and fell onto the tracks.
The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. at the 125th Street station in Harlem, according to Marisa Baldeo, spokeswoman for the MTA.
Williams guide dog tried to keep his master from falling, the Associated Press reported.
“He tried to hold me up,” Williams told the AP.
Orlando wasn’t strong enough to stop Williams from falling and went down with him.
But Orlando began barking frantically and alerted other passengers to Williams plight, witnesses said.
“I heard a man say ‘Oh no!,’ and I heard him fall into the train tracks,” witness Danya Guiterez told CNN affiliate WPIX. “I was in shock and everyone ran towards him, but no one went in the train tracks.”
A nearby MTA employee jumped into action and tried to calm the man. The MTA employee instructed Williams to lie still between the subway rails and not try and climb out as a northbound “A” train quickly approached the station, according to Baldeo.
Customers standing on the platform attempted to alert the conductor, according to a statement from the MTA.
The conductor applied the brakes when he noticed Williams on the tracks, but the train came to a stop only after one and a half cars went over the man and his dog.
Williams suffered only minor injuries. Orlando was unhurt. In a sad twist Orlando may soon be separated from Williams.
The lab turns 11 on Jan. 5, and will be retired as a service dog, Williams told the AP. His said his insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will have to give Orlando away.
Williams told the AP that if he had the money he would definitely keep him.