"Choices: Making Sure Your Everyday Decisions Move You Closer
Message # 2
September 18, 1994
INTRODUCTION: One year ago this week, a murky alligator and
snake filled bayou near Mobile, Alabama became the temporary
grave of 47 people. At 70 miles per hour, an Amtrak train
plunged its four leading cars into that bayou on a foggy, dark,
Alabama morning just before 3:00 a.m. Moments before this
accident, a towboat had errantly entered the bayou, striking the
bridge and weakening it. It was so remote an area that it took
two hours for helicopter assistance to arrive. Emergency
vehicles could only get within six miles of the accident.
One of the known heroes on this early morning was a man named,
Michael Dopheide. He saved the lives of 30 passengers that
morning. He had just received his tax law degree from DePaul
University and he was heading to Florida to visit his sister.
He treaded water in that 25 foot deep bayou, coaxing people to
jump six feet to him, grabbing their arms when they would
surface the water. The people he saved included, a two year
old, an elderly lady and an eleven year old girl with cerebral
Andrea, this cerebral palsy victim was traveling with her mom
and dad, Geray and Mary Jane Chancey. When water filled their
train car on that eerie morning, the Chanceys pushed their
daughter into the hands of her rescurers. This act of love was
Geray and Mary Jane Chancey's last act on this earth. Moments
later, they drowned. Their act of love may be the greatest act
of love I have ever read in my life, be ...
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