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Rescue on the Tracks

Filed in Video by on October 20, 2014 2 Comments • views: 4952

Ramsey, as the video begins, the kind of town where nothing much ever happens. I don’t know about that, but this is one of the times where Ramsey made national headlines for a famous rescue of two toddlers by a heroic Conrail train conductor on May 1st, 1989.

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The Conrail train was traveling eastbound thru Ramsey with 19 cars when conductor Anthony Falzo and his train engineer noticed something moving on the tracks. As they got closer they realized what they saw was two children playing on the tracks, and engineer Richard Campana began blowing the train horn. The toddlers froze in fear.

Campana tried to break, while Falzo ran out on to the locomotive’s catwalk, and jumped out in front of the slowing train. He pulled the two children off the tracks and sheltered them with his body as the overhang of the train passed overhead, ripping into his vest as it passed. One child, Scott Pritchard, only a year and a half old at the time, was struck with part of the locomotive’s plow but survived needing only stitches. His brother Todd, age 3, was unharmed.

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The boy’s house was only around 100 feet from the tracks, and fencing was put up in front of the tracks after this incident. The children’s mother, Kate Pritchard, had been unloading groceries when the boys wandered away.

The video below, from an episode of the television show Rescue 911 that aired on September 12th, 1989, details this story that many national media outlets reported on at the time. Falzo, the heroic conductor, recently retired.

About the Author ()

Daniel Kennedy is a local history buff and a board member of the Ramsey Historical Association.

Comments (2)

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  1. Anthony Falzo says:

    Enjoyed your story about that day in 1989. Yes I recently retired in September 2013 after 40 years and 7 months service on the railroad. Thanks for remembering this incident.

  2. RamseyNJHistory says:

    It was kind of an amazing story. Thank you for your bravery that day.

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