August 29, 2016 11:05 AM EDT

A New Jersey Transit police officer pulled a suicidal man from train tracks moments before a train blew into the station.

The officer, Victor Ortiz, saw the man leave a train at Secaucus Junction, jump onto the tracks and kneel down as a train approached about a half-mile away, authorities said. Ortiz told CBS New York he had no time to think about himself as he struggled to help pull the man off the tracks.

“At that point he’s like, ‘I just want to die, I just want to die,’” Ortiz told CBS New York. “He pretty much went down on his knees and down on his arms. At that point I said, ‘You’re not going to die, you’re not going to die.’”

Video footage of the incident shows Ortiz pulling the man off the tracks as the oncoming train comes to the station. In a statement, New Jersey Transit said they “could not be more proud” of Ortiz.

“We hope this serves as a stark reminder of what these men and women do every single day to keep us safe throughout this state,” New Jersey Transit said.

Write to Mahita Gajanan at

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