LYNDHURST - Lyndhurst Police Officer Michael Keane is recovering from injuries he received while he was a passenger on Amtrak Train 188 that derailed in Philadelphia Tuesday night.
While no one ever wants to be put into a similar situation, many passengers aboard the doomed train were glad he was there.
Keane and his fiancee were in the last car of the train when it derailed. They were on their way back from the Police Unity Tour in Washington, D.C. when the accident occurred. He describes what it was like in those first few moments.
"The lights dimmed. We felt the train rock, and it was a blur from there," he says.
Keane says that his first priority was to get his fiancee off the train and to safety. Then he went back inside by himself to help. He found the conductor first.
"He was still very shaken, trying to gather himself," Keane recalls. "I identified myself as a police officer. I said, 'I need a flashlight and a tool.'"
Using the flashlight, the officer was able to find more passengers in two cars and carry them to safety.
Keane has been a Lyndhurst police officer for nearly six years. He has also been a volunteer firefighter for nine years.
His mother, Dina Keane, says she is very proud of her eldest son. She says that his bravery is all what being a first responder is all about.
"They're constantly in that lifesaving mode," she says. "What is not to be proud of there?"
Officer Keane and his family say their thoughts are now with the victims of the accident and their families.