Friday, January 05, 2007

NY subway 'hero' saves teenager

NY subway 'hero' saves teenager

A US construction worker has been hailed as a hero after rescuing a student who had fallen onto the tracks at a New York subway station.

Wesley Autrey jumped onto the tracks and rolled with 19-year-old Cameron Hollopeter into the trough between the rails at 137th Street station.

Mr Hollopeter, who had suffered a medical problem, was rescued just as a train was coming into the station.

Two cars passed over the men before stopping just inches above them.

The train operator had seen someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on.

The New York Times newspaper reported that Mr Hollopeter had suffered a seizure, which sent him convulsing off the platform and onto the tracks.

Moments after the train came to a halt, Mr Hollopeter asked if he was dead, Mr Autrey said.

"I said: 'You are very much alive, but if you move you'll kill the both of us.'"

Mr Autrey, a 50-year-old father of three and a navy veteran, said of his actions during the incident on Tuesday that he was doing what anyone should do in the same situation.

"I'm still saying I'm not a hero... 'cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode," he told US TV on Thursday.

"You should do the right thing."


On Wednesday, he visited Mr Hollopeter and his family in hospital. Mr Hollopeter's father, Larry, addressed reporters outside.

"Mr Autrey's instinctive and unselfish act saved our son's life," he said.

"There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions."

Since his act of heroism, Mr Autrey has been interviewed by numerous media outlets and has been offered rewards by a number of people, including business tycoon Donald Trump.

Mr Autrey said he had been offered cash, trips and scholarships for his two daughters, who were with him at the time of the rescue.

"Donald Trump's got a check waiting on me," he said. "They offered to mail it; I said no, I'd like to meet the Donald, so I can say: 'Yo, you're fired.'"

Story from BBC NEWS: