Rescuer at scene of train accident is named 'hero'

September 12, 1996|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A Maryland postal worker who tried to save victims of a deadly rail crash in Silver Spring was named "Hero of the Year" yesterday by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Joan Barr, 31, of Mechanicsville in St. Mary's County was on her way home from work Feb. 16 when she became involved at the scene of the fiery crash of a Maryland Rail Commuter service train and an Amtrak train. Eleven people on the MARC train were killed.

"I had just punched out and was on my way home when I heard and felt the crash," Barr, a substitute letter carrier in Silver Spring, said yesterday.

She parked her car at a nearby apartment complex, and ran to the crash site, where she tried unsuccessfully to help people trapped in a burning rail car.

"I heard screaming and saw hands pounding on the windows of the MARC car," she said. "I tried to open the door and bang out the windows, but that didn't work."

She added: "When I realized I couldn't help the passengers on the MARC, I went to the Amtrak train and helped the injured people there."

Barr will be honored at a ceremony in Washington on Sept. 25.

Pub Date: 9/12/96

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