LHS coach Black gets a 'save'
By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
A former starting pitcher at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, he last notched a save in his junior year vs. against Elmhurst College.
But Tuesday morning, he picked up a save of a different kind -- one that helped preserve the life of a local resident.
A first year Special Education teacher at LHS, Black was driving to school on Tennessee Boulevard when he noticed a Ford Ranger pickup veer off the road and on to the railroad tracks on the South end of Nokes-Lasater Field.
I could tell the driver was in trouble, Black said, his arm stiffened up and the truck went right off the road, got airborne and landed on the tracks with four flat tires.
Stopping his vehicle, Black hurried to the 20 year-old who was obviously having a seizure.
I grew up with a guy who was prone to seizures, so I knew right away what was happening, Black said.
Black was at first hesitant to move the distressed man, but just seconds later, he and an unidentified City of Lebanon employee were faced with another dilemma -- the approaching Music City Star.
Black was on the phone with Wilson County 911 when he heard the sound of the commuter train.
I didnt want to move him, but then we heard that train whistle, Black said.
He dispatched the city worker up the tracks in an effort to slow the train, then proceeded to pull the man out of his truck.
Luckily the city worker caught the attention of the engineer, stopping the train about 100 feet from the disabled truck.
If it had been a freight train, I dont think they could have stopped with all that weight. Luckily the Star only has a few cars and they got it stopped, Black said.
The entire incident took less than five minutes. I know that because after I got him out of the truck, I went back and got my cell phone. The 911 operator was still on the line and the elapsed time of the call was 4:36.
Right then, Coach (Troy) Crane came out of the football field house. He said my knees were shaking something crazy.
Having been featured on three Nashville television stations has made the Chicagoland native a little uncomfortable.
I think anybody else would do the same thing, said Black, who was quick to give plenty of credit to the City of Lebanon employee who joined in the rescue attempt. Thank goodness he stopped too, it took both of us to get it done.