Hero Wesley Autrey, photo by Felix Bryant
What a great story! A real hero in the city!
A hero construction worker left his two young daughters on a Harlem subway platform and leaped into the path of an oncoming train yesterday to rescue a stranger who had fallen on the tracks.
“Tell my little girls that Daddy is OK!” Wesley Autrey shouted from under the No. 1 train after it screeched to a halt. It was just inches above him and the film student he pushed into the trough between the tracks.
Amazingly, neither Autrey nor the man he saved, 20-year-old Cameron Hollopeter, was seriously injured, even though the train grazed the construction worker’s wool cap.
After Autrey boosted himself up from the tracks at the 137th Street station, he modestly said, “You’re supposed to come to people’s rescue.”
The story of this man’s selfless act (and quick-thinking) could not be more dramatic - and terrifying for his kids:
As Autrey was going through the turnstile, he saw Hollopeter having a seizure. A Boston-area native, Hollopeter is in a producing program at the New York Film Academy in Union Square, and was on his way to classes.
Autrey and two women ran to his aid.
Autrey yelled to the station agent to call for help, and then used a pen to pry open Hollopeter’s jaw to stop him from biting his tongue. A few moments later, Hollopeter came to and stood up.
“Are you all right?” Autrey asked.
But before he could complete the question, Hollopeter stumbled and fell onto the tracks as the southbound train rumbled in.
“He landed between the tracks,” Autrey said. “Do I let the train run over this guy? I saw the ladies had my two daughters, so I hopped over on the tracks.
[…] Hollopeter “was kicking his arms and legs,” Autrey said. “I didn’t want his arms and legs cut off. I knew the train was going to go over us, so I took him, I grabbed him and we fell down.
“I wrapped my arms and legs around him and tightened up. I had to lock my whole body.”
He maneuvered himself and Hollopeter into the trough between the tracks, where “we maybe had one or two inches.”
Autrey said that all he remembered is the sound of the screeching brakes replaced with the screams of his two daughters.
“I’m OK,” Autrey shouted from underneath the train.
Even though Autrey - who went to work after the ordeal - downplayed his derring-do, his proud daughters had no doubt their dad was a hero.
“He was saving the man under the train and the train just went past,” Shaqui said.
Syshe added, “He saved a man.”
So the Wesley Autrey saves the life of another man, says, “you’re supposed to come to people’s rescue” and then goes to work. Awesome. And humbling. Real heroes never think they’ve done something heroic.