Man who jumped in to help Amtrak derailment victims honored

Dan Konzelman, an Eagle scout, was honored with the North Star Award on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Tacoma. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. -- Daniel Konzelman and Alicia Hoverson were on their way to work on Dec. 18 when it happened.

Amtrak Train 501 derailed and cars tumbled on Interstate 5.

Konzelman and Hoverson rushed in to help.

"Probably 45 seconds later there’s a traffic jam," he told KOMO in December. "I’m like, ‘this is weird there’s never traffic here,’ and I saw the train kind of hanging off the bridge. I was like, 'that’s weird,' and then I realized 'oh, this is a train crash, this is the real deal.'"

Konzelman said they parked their car, he put on some boots and a headlamp and they ran to help.

"You’re sort of scared and trying to prepare yourself for the worst, hope for the best sort of thing," he said. "The trains, a lot were tipped over on the side, and some of them, the roofs had ripped or collapsed."

On Wednesday, Konzelman, an Eagle Scout, was honored with the North Start Award for his efforts in helping get 15 people out of the wreckage.

He received the national Scouting award at the Friends of Scouting Breakfast in Tacoma.

"I'm super-honored, super humbled," he said.

He thanked Scouting leaders who gave him the training to be ready to take action.

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