Miracle on Railroad Street revisited - the quest to say thanks

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 06:04 PM.

“Well, I’m not a hero,” he told her. “My thing is it had to be the Lord telling me to tell you that because I don’t think that fast, never have. I’m kind of slow, so it had to be the Lord that told me to tell you to do that because on my own I probably wouldn’t have gotten it out fast enough even if I was thinking it, but I was amazed that I just said lay down, and you did.”

“Yes, yes, and that was nothing short of the Lord, but I’ve always said to my mother, ‘To me he’s my hero because he saved my life. My life wouldn’t have been spared if it hadn’t been for him’ and because of you I was spared,” she replied.

Dunn told her that the train’s engineer, Johnson, died about a decade ago, while Alvelo explained that Tampakov was also married with two teenage sons living in Maryland.

They exchanged phone numbers and hoped to plan a face-to-face meeting this summer. Alvelo said she wanted Dunn to meet her husband and children and hoped that Johnson’s family could also be there.

Alvelo said talking to Dunn made her feel like a part of her life had been completed.

“We all just want to embrace him and thank him and present him with an award, and we want to present Mr. Johnson’s son with a gift and let his children know and his family know what a hero he is as well because thanks to their quick thinking we got to grow up,” Alvelo said. “We got to get married. We got to have children, and that means the world to me. There couldn’t have been a gift other than my mother having me that could have been a greater gift given to me.”

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