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A MELBOURNE train driver was hugged and comforted by her passengers after she tearfully told them she almost hit a pedestrian on Thursday morning.
Court Backman was driving a Frankston Line express when she narrowly avoided hitting a pedestrian who dashed through a level crossing about 8.15am.
The close brush with tragedy greatly affected Ms Backman who took to the train’s PA to tell passengers what had happened.
“I’ve been on since 2am, I get it,” she told them. “I want to get you guys to work. I want to go home myself,” reported The Herald Sun.
She then went on to tell them how hurtful the abuse and anger from stressed out passengers was to train drivers.
“Nobody needs to tap their watches or clap their hands ... you don’t know why the trains are running late.
“I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for the fact we are running so late.
“Like I said, be grateful for the fact this train even ran ...”
It was then — as she described the near miss with the pedestrian — she became emotional.
“To everybody who has been lovely and hasn’t decided to do all these passive aggressive things or get on the PA and abuse me, you’ve been fantastic I truly appreciate and thank you very much for your patience.”
As soon as the train arrived at Flinders Street Station, its final destination, dozens of passengers reacted, not with anger, but with kindness.
She was hugged and comforted by passengers who told her how appreciative they were.
Ms Backman’s mother, Ali Backman, took to Facebook to share her thanks.
“Thank you all so much for comforting my beautiful daughter,” she wrote, before adding her daughter was very appreciative of the kindness being shown to her.
Ms Backman told news.com.au she was “very proud”, but couldn’t say more due to the media policy of Metro Trains.
In a statement, Metro Trains spokeswoman Sammie Black told news.com.au the company was grateful for the support and care shown to Ms Backman.
“We will be passing every message onto her and we know that she has been very appreciative of the support received. Our team is focused on ensuring our driver’s wellbeing, as part of our trauma assistance program.”
Ms Backman was met by her manager at Flinders Street Station after she took a break following the incident.
In these types of incidents, a driver can choose to seek a relief driver immediately, however, in this instance, she determined she was able to continue the journey into the city.
“In these types of incidents, a driver can choose to seek a relief driver immediately, however, in this instance, she determined she was able to continue the journey into the city,” Ms Black said.
This article first appeared on www.news.com.au
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