Blind man, guide dog safe after subway track fall

National

Blind man, guide dog safe after subway track fall

Posted:

By COLLEEN LONG and KILEY ARMSTRONG
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.

The black Lab bravely leapt on to the tracks at a Manhattan subway platform Tuesday after his blind owner lost consciousness and tumbled in front of an oncoming train.

Cecil Williams, 61, and Orlando both escaped serious injury when the train passed over top of them - a miraculous end to a harrowing ordeal that began when Williams began to feel faint on his way to the dentist.

"He tried to hold me up," the emotional Williams told The Associated Press from his hospital bed, his voice breaking at times.

Witnesses said Orlando began barking frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling from the platform. Matthew Martin told the New York Post that Orlando jumped down and tried to rouse Williams even as a train approached.

"He was kissing him, trying to get him to move," Martin said.

Witnesses called for help and the train's motorman slowed his approach as Williams and Orlando lie in the trench between the rails.

"The dog saved my life," Williams said.

As Williams regained consciousness, he said he heard someone telling him to be still. Emergency workers put him on a stretcher and pulled him from the subway, and made sure Orlando was not badly injured.

"I'm feeling amazed," Williams said. "I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store for me. They didn't take me away this time. I'm here for a reason."

Williams was taken to a hospital where he is expected to recover, with Orlando at his bedside. Williams, a large bandage on his head, said he is not sure why he lost consciousness, but he is on insulin and other medications.

Orlando, described by Williams as serious but laid-back, was making new friends at the hospital. He will be rewarded with some kind of special treat, Williams said, along with plenty of affection and scratches behind the ears.

"(He) gets me around and saves my life on a daily basis," Williams said.

Williams, of Brooklyn, has been blind since 1995, and Orlando is his second dog. The lab will be 11 on Jan. 5, and will be retiring soon, Williams said. His medical benefits will cover a new guide dog but won't pay for a non-working dog, so he'll be looking for a good home for Orlando.

If he had the money, Williams said, "I would definitely keep him."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. Agrees to Accept up to $100 Million Additional Financing from Arizona Alternative Energy Center, LLC for San Luis, Arizona Tower

    Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. Agrees to Accept up to $100 Million Additional Financing from Arizona Alternative Energy Center, LLC for San Luis, Arizona Tower

    ANNAPOLIS, MD / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2014 / Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (OTCQB: SWET), (the “Company”), the inventor of large Solar Wind Downdraft Tower structures capable of producing abundant,...More >>
    ANNAPOLIS, MD / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2014 / Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (OTCQB: SWET), (the “Company”), the inventor of large Solar Wind Downdraft Tower structures capable of producing abundant, inexpensive...More >>
  • Professor charged with taping students in bathroom

    Professor charged with taping students in bathroom

    An accounting professor with secretly taping students in his San Francisco apartment's bathroom.More >>
    An accounting professor with secretly taping students in his San Francisco apartment's bathroom.More >>
  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • Drought starting to kill salmon in Klamath Basin

    Drought starting to kill salmon in Klamath Basin

    Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California's Klamath Basin - the site of a massive fish kill in 2002.More >>
    Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California's Klamath Basin - the site of a massive fish kill in 2002.More >>
  • Mom accused of leaving kids in car ordered held

    Mom accused of leaving kids in car ordered held

    A mother charged with leaving two toddlers in a car while she gambled at a Northern California casino has been ordered held by a judge who deemed her a flight risk.More >>
    A mother charged with leaving two toddlers in a car while she gambled at a Northern California casino has been ordered held by a judge who deemed her a flight risk.More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Latest polls show Ducey and Jones neck and neck for Republican slot

    Latest polls show Ducey and Jones neck and neck for Republican slot

    According to the latest poll from Veterans for a Strong America Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey leads the pack at 23 percent, he's being followed closely by former Counsel for GoDaddy Christine Jones who received 21 percent of the poll. The poll listed 22 percent of participants as undecided. According to the same poll the biggest issues concerning the state were listed as healthcare and education. Another poll conducted in late June by Harper Polling showed Ducey as the favorite at 33 percent a...More >>
    According to the latest poll from Veterans for a Strong America Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey leads the pack at 23 percent, he's being followed closely by former Counsel for GoDaddy Christine Jones who received 21 percent of the poll. The poll listed 22 percent of participants as undecided. According to the same poll the biggest issues concerning the state were listed as healthcare and education. Another poll conducted in late June by Harper Polling showed Ducey as the favorite at 33 percent a...More >>