Cecil Williams and his guide dog companion, Orlando, were traveling by subway to the dentist when Williams, feeling faint, lost consciousness and fell onto the tracks.
The black Labrador leaped onto the tracks and attempted to revive Williams.
Witnesses state Orlando tried to keep Williams upright and prevent him from falling onto the tracks.
“He went down, and the dog jumped down,” Matthew Martin said. “He wasn’t pulled. He was kissing him, trying to get him to move.”
“He was definitely this man’s best friend. When the train was coming, the dog didn’t move,” said Ana Quinones. “The dog was loyal to his master. He tried to save him. He was trying to pull him away when he was too close to the edge. He risked his own life to save his owner.”
The dog’s frantic barking coupled with shouts from other passengers alerted subway workers.
Shortly after Williams fell, a train approached the station.
Larmont Smith, a transit flagman witnessed the fall.
“I only had seconds,” Smith said. “I yelled, ‘Put your head down! Put your head down!’ I don’t think he heard me the first two times, but after the third time, he put his head down. One more second, he would have been dead.”
He couldn't believe that Orlando remained with Williams despite the train approaching.
“The dog was sitting right in front of him, kind of like he was guarding him,” Smith said. “I give that dog a lot of credit. It was incredible. Normally an animal, or another human being, would run. That dog stayed right there.”
The train’s motorman was able to slow the train but one and a half cars passed over Williams and Orlando.
Williams suffered a cut to the head, and Orlando was uninjured.
“The dog saved my life,” Williams said. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, having something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”
Williams said he doesn’t know why he fainted, but he takes insulin and other medications. A full recovery is expected.