Cecil Williams, guide dog struck by NYC subway train, police say

Cecil Williams, who is blind, says his guide

Cecil Williams, who is blind, says his guide dog Orlando tried to save him from falling onto subway tracks when he lost consciousness. (Dec. 17, 2013) Read the story. (Credit: AP)

A 60-year-old blind man and his guide dog both survived being run over by an A train when they fell onto the tracks at a Harlem station Tuesday.

Cecil Williams, of Brooklyn, and his service dog Orlando fell onto the tracks of a northbound A train at the 125th Street station shortly after 9:30 a.m. The train came to a halt with Williams trapped beneath the second car.

He told The Associated Press that he was on his way to the dentist when he felt faint and tumbled onto the tracks with his 10-year-old dog. He said the black Labrador is trained to keep him from falling into the tracks and that the dog "tried to hold me up."

"I'm feeling amazed," Williams said from his hospital bed at St. Luke's Hospital. "I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. They didn't take me away this time. I'm here for a reason."

The motorman saw the fallen rider and pulled the emergency brake but the train rolled over him, according to officials. The motorman has been working for the MTA since November 2012, the source said.

The MTA said in a statement that an agency employee at the station told Williams to stay in the trough between the rails. People tried to wave to the conductor as he headed into the station, but the train was unable to stop in time.

Williams was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in stable condition with no serious injuries, according to fire and police officials.

Williams has been blind since 1995, and Orlando is his second dog, according to the AP. The lab will be 11 on Jan. 5, and will be retiring soon, Williams said. His health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will be looking for a good home for him.

If he had the money, Williams said, "I would definitely keep him."

With Maria Alvarez

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