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savafan
01-04-2007, 02:19 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/485218p-408507c.html

By NICOLE BODE, KERRY BURKE,
PETE DONOHUE and ROBERT F. MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Diving onto subway tracks, a Harlem father saved the life of a stranger yesterday when he pinned the flailing man between the rails just seconds before a 370-ton train roared over their entwined bodies.

"Please, sir, don't move," Wesley Autrey, 50, said as he shoved his body against Cameron Hollopeter, who had tumbled off the platform after suffering a seizure. "If you move, one of us is going to lose a leg or die."

The men, who were jammed face-to-face in a 2-foot depression between the tracks, were unharmed by the No. 1 train that screamed over them, just inches away.

"It's miraculous," Hollopeter's grandfather Jeff Friedman, 55, said later. "He's sedated, but the doctor said he's going to be okay."

Autrey, a construction worker, was having an otherwise ordinary afternoon when he passed through the turnstiles at W.137th St. and Broadway about 12:45 p.m. He was with his daughters, Shuqui, 6, and Syshe, 4, whom he planned to drop off with their mother at Times Square.

The military veteran first noticed Hollopeter, a 20-year-old film student, when he collapsed to the platform after the seizure. Autrey said he put a pen in the man's mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue as two women also ran to his aid.

The convulsions subsided and Hollopeter climbed to his feet - but he then staggered and fell off the downtown platform.

"I had a split-second decision to make," Autrey said. "Do I let the train run him over and hear my daughters screaming and see the blood? Or do I jump in?"

Knowing a train was likely to pull into the station at any moment, Autrey tried to pull Hollopeter up. But the fallen man started fighting his rescuer, knocking him dangerously close to the third rail and its deadly 600 volts.

Autrey told the Daily News that after only a few seconds, he saw the lights on the front of the No. 1 train bearing down on him and pushed the man into the trough.

"He was fighting and pushing against me, so I laid on top of him," Autrey said. "The train was probably 2 inches off my back."

Transit officials said the train operator reported to the rail control center that he saw a person on the roadbed upon entering the station. He made an emergency stop and found the men under the second car of the 10-car train.

"Am I dead?" Hollopeter asked, according to the man who saved his life. "Am I dead?"

"I said, 'No, we're under the train,'" Autrey recalled.

"'You're touching me. You feel me touching you? We're very much alive.'"

Autrey, who was trapped under the train for 20 minutes before workers turned off the power, said he could hear his daughters screaming.

"My daddy!" they hollered. "My daddy!"

Witnesses said Autrey began shouting at straphangers to be quiet so he could pass a message to his kids. The platform grew silent.

"Let my daughters know that I'm okay and that the man is okay!" he shouted, as onlookers broke into applause.

After the power was turned off, Autrey crawled to safety and used a step on the back of one of the subway cars to climb to safety. He emerged with grime on his right sleeve, hip and back. He said a grease stain on his hat came from being grazed by the bottom of the train.

"I thought he was going to get hit by the train," Shuqui said of her dad. "I thought he was going to be dead, but he's alive."

FDNY officials said firefighters helped pull Hollopeter up before paramedics took him to St.Luke's Hospital. Autrey was treated at the scene and then greeted by another round of applause and slaps on the back before he went to visit Hollopeter.

Hollopeter, of Harvard, Mass., is an aspiring director and a freshman at the New York Film Academy. His grandfather wasn't aware of an existing medical problem that resulted in the seizure, he said.

"On behalf of the whole family, I want to say thank you," Friedman said of Autrey. "I want to shake his hand."

Friedman was still stunned hours after the accident.

"For someone who got run over by a train, he looks pretty good," he said of his grandson. "He's a talented writer, but even he couldn't write the screenplay any better."

paintmered
01-04-2007, 02:32 AM
"For someone who got run over by a train, he looks pretty good," he said of his grandson. "He's a talented writer, but even he couldn't write the screenplay any better."

Oh don't worry, Hollywood is going to try....

Roy Tucker
01-04-2007, 08:43 AM
I read about this yesterday.

I guess I'm a bad person. I can't imagine risking my life like that for a total stranger.

bucksfan
01-04-2007, 01:31 PM
I read about this yesterday.

I guess I'm a bad person. I can't imagine risking my life like that for a total stranger.

I'm not sure that I could either, especially given the fact I have a young daughter also. What he did sounds amazing and courageous.

Johnny Footstool
01-04-2007, 04:02 PM
He's a hero, sure, but the guy very nearly orphaned his two daughters. Given time to think about it, I'll bet he wouldn't take such a big risk again.

vaticanplum
01-04-2007, 08:06 PM
He's a hero, sure, but the guy very nearly orphaned his two daughters. Given time to think about it, I'll bet he wouldn't take such a big risk again.

I saw him on the news; he more or less said just that.

Some decisions are made with adrenaline only.

Blimpie
01-04-2007, 09:48 PM
I believe a lifetime subway pass from Mayor Bloomberg is in order....

Highlifeman21
01-04-2007, 10:30 PM
I read about this yesterday.

I guess I'm a bad person. I can't imagine risking my life like that for a total stranger.

I have a feeling I probably would have frozen not knowing what to do.

While there was an act of heroism here, I just can't imagine pulling that trigger to make the decision to potentially sacrifice myself in that situation. He had no knowledge of the outcome. Act of faith, I suppose.

If I were him, and I had to make the choice to hypothetically save a family member or loved one, I probably would have been left looking down from the platform.

George Foster
01-04-2007, 11:41 PM
If I were him, and I had to make the choice to hypothetically save a family member or loved one, I probably would have been left looking down from the platform.

At least your honest. I would not hesitate to try and save one of my children or any other family member. I read stories several times a year about parents getting out of a burning house or trailer and one of their children did not get out. How do you leave your house before your children are out? I don't get it. I don't want to live without my children. It's my job to protect them till the death. If a dog will do it for one of her pups, it's the least I can do for my children. If one of them goes, I'm going with them. We'll meet God together. I will give my life to even try and save theirs...without fear or hesitation.

Johnny Footstool
01-05-2007, 10:55 AM
I have a feeling I probably would have frozen not knowing what to do.

While there was an act of heroism here, I just can't imagine pulling that trigger to make the decision to potentially sacrifice myself in that situation. He had no knowledge of the outcome. Act of faith, I suppose.

If I were him, and I had to make the choice to hypothetically save a family member or loved one, I probably would have been left looking down from the platform.

I might have gone to the edge of the platform and tried to grab the guy, but I doubt I would have jumped down onto the tracks. And if he started fighting me like the article says he fought Mr Autrey, that would have been it.

Dom Heffner
01-05-2007, 12:06 PM
"Let my daughters know that I'm okay and that the man is okay!" he shouted, as onlookers broke into applause.

This line gave me goosebumps.


He's a hero, sure, but the guy very nearly orphaned his two daughters. Given time to think about it, I'll bet he wouldn't take such a big risk again.

It's also odd how he did it for them, isn't it? He didn't want them to see a man get hit by a train.

From the story, it sounds as though he was going to simply pull the man out but the guy was fighting against him, then he had to push him to the ground and lay on top of him.

It went from being a somewhat simple thing to dangerous in a matter of seconds.

Falls City Beer
01-05-2007, 06:04 PM
Remarkable. Humans can be incredible when they want to be.

Ltlabner
01-05-2007, 06:16 PM
This is definatley a situation that we don't know how we would really react unless/untill we are faced with a desperate situation like what unfolded in NYC yesterday.

And if the time comes you can only hope you'd react in a heoric manner.

But I'm sure there were many more people around besides Mr. Autrey who just stood and stared in disbelief.