Those who knew Philip Scholz couldn't figure out why he got so close to the tracks on Monday that he ended up being struck and killed by a commuter train in Santa Clara, California. Now they know: He was trying to save a life. Caltrain surveillance video shows that the 35-year-old Scholz, who was on a raised platform, spotted a man lying on the tracks as an express train approached, reports the San Jose Mercury News. He took off his backback, got down on his stomach, reached for the man, and appeared to talk to him.
"As the train approached, the person did want to get out of the way, but between him and Phil, something happened, and they were hit," says Scholz's wife. The train struck them both at about 60mph, and while Scholz died at the scene, the other person somehow survived and remains hospitalized, reports NBC Bay Area. Authorities aren't identifying him or offering further details. It "appears Mr. Scholz was attempting to help the surviving victim," says a Caltrain spokesperson. Adds Scholz's boss at computer graphics company Nvidia: "I'm sure his knee-jerk, no hesitation to help someone else is what caused this—he goes down as a hero in my book." (Read more hero stories.)