Shortly after noon on Tuesday, January 8, 23-year-old Dwight Orchard was walking onto the platform at St. Clair West subway station in Toronto, when he heard a thud. The George Brown College student looked down and realized a man had stumbled onto the tracks, with a train rumbling towards him.
Without time to think, Orchard dropped his school bag, ran toward the man, jumped onto the tracks, and tried to lift him out of harm's way. When lifting by the shoulders didn't work, Orchard grabbed the man 'like a baby,' cradling him in his arms, then tossing him up onto the platform before jumping up to safety himself.
At the same time, other commuters, including Ren Niles and her child, saw the man fall and yelled to the train conductor to stop as he entered the station. A TTC employee noticed the commotion and cut the power, bringing the train to a halt. By then, Orchard had already lifted the man to safety.
Orchard wasn't one for attention after the incident, though. Feeling ill with pneumonia-like symptoms, he jumped on another train before anyone could talk to him. Acting fast, Niles took a photo of Orchard on the train and posted it on her Facebook page with a description of his heroic actions.
Within hours, he was recognized and The Toronto Star
caught up with him at a hospital in Richmond Hill where he was being treated for pneumonia-like symptoms. When asked why he didn't stick around at the train station, Orchard explained he was ill and didn't feel up to all the attention.
Orchard was at a loss to explain why he jumped down to save the man. He said he 'just had to.'
The incident shows how wonderful some young people in Toronto truly are.