Real-life heroes

01.04.07

They’re rare, but they do exist. Check out the story of this New York construction worker who risked his life and jumped on a subway track to save a complete stranger who was having a seizure:

While waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, Autrey saw Cameron Hollopeter, a 19-year-old film student, suffering from some kind of medical episode. After stumbling down the platform, Hollopeter, of Littleton, Mass., fell onto the tracks with a train on its way into the station.

Autrey, traveling with his two young daughters, knew he had to do something.

“If I let him stay there by himself, he’s going to be dismembered,” the Navy veteran remembered thinking.

He jumped down to the tracks, a few feet below platform level, and rolled with the young man into a drainage trough — cold, wet and more than a little unpleasant smelling — between the rails as the southbound No. 1 train came into the 137th Street/City College station.

The train’s operator saw someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on. Some train cars passed over Autrey and Hollopeter with only a couple of inches to spare, but neither man suffered any harm from the incident.

Hollopeter was taken to a nearby hospital; Autrey refused medical attention — and then went to work.

According to bystanders, Autrey had time to shout to people to take care of his daughters before the train came. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he did it, but he was probably acting more on instinct than anything else:

Meanwhile, Autrey said the impact of the risky rescue was sinking in.

“It’s all hitting me now,” Autrey said. “I’m looking, and these trains are coming in now. … Wow, you did something pretty stupid.”

Perhaps, but it worked out well for him. It’s really nice to know that, with all the bad news out there, some people still care about others.

Happy 2007, all.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 01.05.07 at 6:41 AM

‘Bout time, Young Lady! I certainly hope you have a note for your absence.

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2 DaninVan 01.05.07 at 6:42 AM

…oh, and Happy Other New Years!

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3 John Palubiski 01.05.07 at 2:02 PM

Same to you, Sari!

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4 josh 01.07.07 at 12:12 AM

It’s not a bad idea to think about it on the metro either. You only have to watch that ‘third rail’ and the cement blocks the wheels run on if you have to duck under the train when it comes. Otherwise, it’s not such a big deal to be down there. I had a hat blow down there once. It was a small hop down and back up.

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