Father credited with amazing 'subway save'
(Manhattanville - WABC, January 2, 2007) (WABC) -- A Good Samaritan leaped into action and saved a man who had a seizure and collapsed onto subway tracks Tuesday afternoon.
Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Tarazona spoke with the hero.
She has the story from the 138th Street station in Manhattanville.
Fifty-year-old Wesley Autrey saved a man's life today.
The Vietnam vet says he just followed his gut, but it was more than that. "I just did my best," Autrey said. "Military training, instinct, that's all."
Authorities say the victim, 18-year-old Cameron Hollowpeter, suffered a seizure and collapsed onto the southbound No. 1 line near Broadway and West 137th Street just before 1 p.m.
They say Autrey was waiting for a subway train with his two daughters and attempted to save Hollowpeter.
"I just went in after the guy," he said. "I tried to pull him up, but I had to make a split-[second] decision whether or not to struggle, maybe end up getting us both killed. So I just chose to dive on top of him and pin him down and pin myself down."
Autrey reportedly leaped into the trench to get Hollowpeter off the tracks. Officials say when he was unable to get him off the tracks in time, the hero covered the victim with his body in the gutter between two tracks, and a subway train rolled over them both.
"This train is coming," he said. "I was trying to pull him up, but his weight, he was fighting against me. He didn't know who I was. The only thing that popped into my mind was go into the gutter. So I dove in, I pinned him down, once the first car ran over us, then my thing was keep him still."
Both men miraculously sustained only minor injuries.
Police say Hollowpeter was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, while the underground hero was treated at the scene.
Autrey said he shouldn't be considered a hero, he was simply putting his military training to use.
"I think I did the right thing," he said. "And it ain't about being a hero, it's just being able to be here and help the next person."
Subway service was briefly delayed on southbound No. 1 express trains between 145th Street and 96th Street, but normal service has resumed.
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