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Strangers help rescue baby girl from railroad tracks

Strangers help rescue baby girl from railroad tracks

PUEBLO, Colo. - A baby girl placed on railroad tracks as a train approached was rescued thanks to quick-thinking strangers.

Jessica Sloan, 31, is accused of putting her daughter on train tracks and running away. A southbound train was slowly passing through 29 Street and Lowell Avenue on Feb. 14 when a train engineer on the other side of the tracks saw something suspicious.

"We were parked here waiting for southbound traffic to come into the yard," said Erich Jeske, a train engineer with Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Jeske said he was waiting to head northbound when he saw a woman approach an oncoming train. He said Sloan wasn't acting normal.

"She was walking around very erratic and appeared to have something over her shoulder -- didn't know what it was exactly," he said.

Jeske said Sloan laid down what looked like a blanket. When the train came to a stop, he saw Sloan crawl underneath the rail cars. He had no idea wrapped inside that blanket, in front of the train, was a baby.

"I didn't know what was in there," Jeske said. "When it was our turn to go I was going to approach it slowly because it could have actually gotten bound up under the train, not knowing what it was and now knowing that it was a baby-- it could have been a much more tragic outcome."

He said his gut instinct wasn't to stop and pick up what he saw on the tracks simply because there's a lot of debris on tracks and the train has to keep rolling.

It was two Pueblo city employees who took action.  Chad Devore and Michael Baca were sitting in traffic, waiting for the train to pass, when a young man came up to their car window.

"And he told me can you believe that baby on the tracks?," Devore said.
"I said, 'Did he say a baby? And the kid said, yeah it was a baby,'" Baca said.
"We both jumped out of the truck and toward the train to see what was happening," Devore said

They took charge, asking one man to get the baby off the tracks and another witness to chase after Sloan.

Witnesses agree it was a happy ending to a dangerous situation.

"Had the time of day been different  Had there been another train-- had she placed it on a different track," Jeske said. "There's a multitude of things that could have made it a much more tragic outcome than it was."

Sloan faces several charges, including attempted first-degree murder. She's in jail on a $500,000 bond.

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