It's a nightmare situation.
Someone you love is hurt or sick, and needs to go to the hospital quickly. The ambulance is called, help is on the way. But you wait, and the ambulance doesn't arrive. It turns out the road is blocked.
What do you do then?
That's what happened Tuesday in the Alabama town of Leeds, slightly northeast of Birmingham. Denise Mayo, a former nurse who lives next door to a man with special needs, was notified by the man's family Tuesday that he was having severe breathing problems, reported WBRC.
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The family said they had called an ambulance, but Mayo knew the route to the subdivision where they lived crossed over a train track - one that was sometimes blocked. And sure enough, she told the station she soon got a call saying the ambulance could not get through.
That's when neighbors and family grabbed the man, got him in a truck and drove to the tracks themselves, according to the station.
A train was stalled on the crossing, and the ambulance was waiting on the other side. The neighbors lifted the man between the rail cars and passed him to the waiting paramedics, where he was taken to a Birmingham hospital, WVTM reported.
The situation was captured on a shaky cell phone video and shared to Facebook.
"He would have been dead if he had to wait an hour. That train was still there, and it was an hour before that train finally moved," Mayo told WVTM.
Residents have been complaining of issues with the train for months. Nearly a year ago, neighbors told WBRC that trains routinely blocked the only way out of subdivisions near Trails End Road. A Facebook page was created advocating for a solution to the problems.
The St. Clair Times reported on the problem yet again in August, where a woman said she had been forced to hand paramedics her injured father over the rail car because the ambulance was blocked by the stalled train.
“We have to cross the railroad tracks every day to get anywhere,” she said. “A problem we have had for the past 15 years is when Norfolk put in a side rail, and they have made it a place for trains to stop," she told the paper.
Norfolk Southern told the paper they were contributing money toward the construction of a new road alongside the Alabama Department of Transportation.
The railroad released a statement about the incident Tuesday, saying they were "concerned" and would continue to work with county commissioners to find alternate road access.