SLIDELL, La. — A man nearly bled out after being hit by a train Saturday night in Slidell, but an officer's quick action is credited with saving his life. The man who was hit by a train suffers from dementia, according to police.
Officer Darren Marcev joined the Slidell Police Department four years ago. He works the overnight shift and was the first on scene Saturday after an Amtrak train engineer called 911. Slidell police spokesperson Daniel Seuzaneau said the man who was hit likely would not have survived had it not been for Marcev's quick actions.
"He's very, very humble about it," Seuzeneau said.
According to Slidell police, an Amtrak train engineer called 911 around 9:15 when the train struck a person who appeared to be sleeping on the tracks near Highway 11 and Indiana Avenue.
Seazeneau said the victim was a 66-year-old man with dementia.
"He does suffer from dementia and the railroad tracks are very close to his house so last night for whatever reason he was out," Seuzeneau said. "We don’t know what was going through his mind or what happened moments beforehand."
Marcev arrived minutes after the 911 call and found the victim with a completely severed leg. Marcev said he didn't have time to put on gloves, knowing the man could quickly bleed out. He said he asked the train engineer to hold a flashlight while he grabbed his tourniquet from his belt and applied it to the man's upper thigh. He recalls it all happening within a minute upon arrival.
"It's a miracle in itself that this gentleman is expected to survive," Seuzeneau said.
The victim was taken to UMC in New Orleans and an ER doctor told Slidell police if these officers hadn’t responded quickly and applied a tourniquet, they would not still be alive.
"This gentleman probably would have bled out in minutes. The tourniquet was able to stop the bleeding immediately," Seuzeneau said.
All Slidell police officers carry tourniquets, Seuzeneau said. They're trained to use them mostly to help victims of shootings or car crashes. That tool and training are believed to have made all the difference here.
"Yea he would have, he would have lost his life," Marcev said about the man he saved.
As of Sunday afternoon, the victim was still in critical condition at UMC, but he is expected to survive.