Dog 'Saved My Life' in Subway Fall: Blind Man

Cecil Williams' dog Orlando jumped right in after man fainted

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 18, 2013 10:01 AM CST

(Newser) – When a blind man fainted and tumbled onto subway tracks, his guide dog was there to protect him—and both survived being run over by a train. When Cecil Williams, 60, got lightheaded on the Manhattan platform, his black lab, Orlando, tried to keep him away from the tracks. But Williams fell, and Orlando headed down with him. With passengers reportedly screaming and seeking help, "the dog was sitting right in front of him, kind of like he was guarding him," says MTA worker Lamont Smith. "Normally an animal, or another human being, would run. That dog stayed right there."

"The dog jumped down," another witness tells the New York Post. "He wasn’t pulled. He was kissing him, trying to get him to move." Smith called out for Williams, who was in a trough between the rails, to put his head down as a train approached. When a dazed Williams finally got the message, Orlando put his own head down, too, Smith tells the New York Daily News. Williams was hospitalized with some cuts and bruises, while Orlando was unhurt. "The dog saved my life," Williams tells the AP. But he fears he'll have to put Orlando up for adoption: His insurance won't handle Orlando's care when the 11-year-old pooch retires soon, he says.

Cecil Williams pets his guide dog Orlando in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in New York.
Cecil Williams pets his guide dog Orlando in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Cecil Williams pets his guide dog, Orlando, in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in New York.
Cecil Williams pets his guide dog, Orlando, in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in New York.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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