Look for a movie to be made out of this awesome story...
Subway hero saves stranger
Train passes over pair lying on tracks
January 3, 2007
NEW YORK – When Wesley Autrey saw the man suffering a seizure fall onto the subway tracks, he jumped in to save the stranger.
As he tried to pull the man to safety at the Harlem stop, Autrey looked up.
"I saw the two white lights, and said, 'Whoa, you ain't got no time,' " Autrey said.
Autrey, 50, grabbed Cameron Hollopeter, 20, in a bear hug and the pair landed in a shallow trough filled with dirty water, with Autrey on top.
The screeching train missed the pair by the barest of margins.
"In my mind, I believed, I hoped, the train had enough clearance," he said. "It didn't hit my head; it just nicked my cap."
Wesley estimated they were under the train for 20 minutes before the power to an adjacent track was cut so emergency workers could safely remove them.
At St. Luke's Hospital, where Hollopeter was taken for treatment for the seizure and minor injuries, thankful family member Jeff Friedman said Hollopeter was shaken by the experience.
Friedman, 55, of New Jersey, said Hollopeter was the son of his daughter's husband and was studying to be a film director at New York Film Academy.
"He's a talented writer, but he couldn't have written the screenplay any better," Friedman said.
Hollopeter's father was on his way to New York from Massachusetts and sent thanks to Wesley, Friedman said.
"I'd like to buy him a drink, maybe a hundred drinks," Friedman said.
The near miss occurred Tuesday about 12:44 p.m., as Autrey and Hollopeter waited separately for a downtown train.
Wesley, who was taking his two young daughters to meet their mother, said he saw Hollopeter fall on his back on the platform and begin to convulse.
After running to a transit worker to call for help, Wesley said he returned to Hollopeter, who was still convulsing and choking. Wesley got a pen from another rider and forced it between Hollopeter's jaws.
Hollopeter soon appeared to recover, and even stood to walk on the platform, Autrey said.
But then Hollopeter stumbled and fell onto the tracks, and Autrey jumped after him.
A Navy veteran who grew up in Brewton, Ala., Autrey was humble about his heroism.
"I'm just saying, I saw someone in distress and went to his aid," Autrey said.
The No. 1 train pulled in and tried to stop to avoid hitting the pair. Police said at least two cars passed over them before coming to a halt.
Tuesday afternoon, members of Wesley's family gathered at his mother's apartment to cheer Autrey's heroism and give thanks for his survival.
"It was the Lord who did it. Can you picture it? God just moved that train over him," said Autrey's mother, Mary Autrey, 69.
Autrey's daughter had a different interpretation.
"Is my daddy going to become Superman?" Shaqui, 6, asked.