Blind man, dog safe after fall onto N.Y. subway track

NEW YORK — 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 with Williams and Orlando 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, who Williams described as serious but laid-back, was at the hospital making new friends. 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 health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will be looking for a good home for him.

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

More in Local News

‘Come talk to me. Don’t jump, come talk to me’

State Patrol trooper Yaroslav Holodkov just happened to be driving by when he saw a suicidal man.

Marysville educators reach out to a newly traumatized school

Several affected by shootings in 2014 offered to talk with counterparts in Eastern Washington.

Serial killer wannabe admits trying to kill man she met online

She told police she planned to rip out her victim’s heart and eat it — and would continue killing.

Hurry! Target will take your old car seat, but not for long

The seats will be taken apart and the various materials recycled.

Sheriff’s Office receives national recognition

Sheriff accepts award “notable achievements in the field of highway safety” over the past year.

Edmonds-Woodway High School briefly locked down

A student tried to stop a fight and a boy, 16, responded by threatening the student with a knife.

Study considers making it legal to grow marijuana at home

The Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering two scenarios for allowing a minimal number of plants.

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Hot weather takes toll on young Christmas trees

The effect is likely to be felt in the years to come when they would have been cut.

Most Read