Super Awesome NYC Subway Hero Wesley Autrey

Earlier this week, a 50-year-old NYC construction worker jumped into the path of a moving subway train to save the life of a stranger:

[Wesley Autrey] gave this account: He was in the station in upper Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon when Hollopeter, also waiting on the platform, seemed to collapse during a seizure. Autrey used a pen to get Hollopeter's tongue out of his throat. Hollopeter stood up, then staggered and fell between the tracks.

As the train neared, Autrey pinned Hollopeter in the trough by lying on top of him, face to face. But the student kept struggling. "Don't move!" Autrey said. "Or one of us is going to lose a leg."

Subway car brakes screeched. One car passed overhead, then a second. Then came silence, followed by the wailing from the platform of his daughters, who'd just seen their father run over.

"We're OK," Autrey yelled to bystanders on the platform. "I got two daughters up there. Let 'em know their father's OK!"

"Who are you?" asked Hollopeter.

"Someone who saved your life," replied Autrey.

Link to USA Today account, which includes the diagram above. Mr. Autrey appeared on Letterman last night, and Gawker posted about it here. Gothamist's post is here. (Thanks, Sven-Erik and John Parres)

Reader comment: Sarah H. says don't cram things in people's mouths when they're having a seizure:

Jumping under a train to save someone is super bad-a$$! But for the well-being of all my peeps out there with epilepsy, never ever put an object or your finger in someone's mouth while they're having a seizure! From the Epilepsy Foundation (Link): "It is not true that a person having a seizure can swallow his tongue." If someone is having a seizure, turn them on their side and place something soft (a pillow or a coat) under their head. Sticking your finger in someone's mouth could hurt them or you.

Robert says,

That reminded me of this rescue in korea that happened a while ago: Link.

Anonymous says,

Here is a very interesting article about what happens to heroes like Frank Autrey after all the publicity, mainly the story of 1996 New York hero Daniel Santos:

"Then came the national TV interviews, the fan mail from strangers, the offers to do commercials, the free trip to Disney World. Then came the nightmares resulting from his near-death plunge. He returned to work after the Disney World trip only to get harassed about his absence, and quit. He lost his health insurance, the money ran out, and he started drinking heavily."