By Deanna Contreras
For Brian Maglaya, a PG&E meter reader, volunteering to work on a Saturday in March was a just a way to earn a little overtime pay.
But it turned out to be the day he saved a life.
Maglaya was pulling onto Highway 1 after leaving a PG&E meter near Point Reyes Station in West Marin County when he saw a biker on a red Harley Davidson motorcycle lose control and slide down an embankment at Millerton Creek Bridge.
As he approached the accident, Maglaya saw the motorcycle crumpled up against the guardrail but not the rider.
“I saw him fall off the bike, but I didn’t realize he was thrown over the embankment. It took me a while to spot him because he was wearing all black, but then I saw him face-down in the creek and not moving,” Maglaya said.
The 11-year PG&E veteran jumped over the embankment, flipped the rider over, and pulled him out of the water to safety at the side of the embankment. This was no small feat, considering the creek was 20 feet down and the rider weighed at least 100 pounds more than Maglaya. He then told another passerby who had also stopped to call 911.
“Pure adrenaline is what helped me pull him out. I was just thinking to get this guy out of the water as fast as possible, that’s the first thing that came to mind,” he said.
The rider, a 65-year-old from San Jose, was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and has made a full recovery.
A Marin County Fire Battalion Chief who arrived at the scene said that, without a doubt, Maglaya’s quick action saved the man.
“Very few times in my career have I witnessed someone’s direct actions saved a life,” said Battalion Chief Jeremy Pierce.
For his act of heroism and bravery, Maglaya was the recipient of the John A. Britton Bronze Award, one of six annual PG&E awards bestowed on employees. The winners were announced on June 28.
“I am very humbled and honored to be receiving such a prestigious award, but I didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it because it was the right thing to do,” said Maglaya. “All the training I received from PG&E — CPR certification, storm duty training, et cetera —helped me feel confident that I was prepared to help someone in need. I never thought I would ever be in that situation, but I’m proud of myself for how I reacted and just glad I was able to help.”
The commanding officer for the Marin Division of The California Highway Patrol, Captain Robert Mota, also nominated Maglaya for another award: The California Peace Officers Association’s Citizen Recognition Award.
Maglaya, 43, lives with his wife and six children in Santa Rosa but will soon move to the East Bay. He says he looks at life a little differently since the accident.
“It makes me enjoy the little things in life and show my children that it’s right to help others in need.”
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.