Mr. Autrey was waiting for the downtown local at 137th Street and Broadway in Manhattan around 12:45 p.m. He was taking his two daughters, Syshe, 4, and Shuqui, 6, home before work.
You obviously need to read the story, but both Autrey and Hollopeter survived, on some straight cinematic ish. I'm sure Will Smith is optioning the movie rights as we speak.
Nearby, a man collapsed, his body convulsing. Mr. Autrey and two women rushed to help, he said. The man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, managed to get up, but then stumbled to the platform edge and fell to the tracks, between the two rails.
The headlights of the No. 1 train appeared. “I had to make a split decision,” Mr. Autrey said.
So he made one, and leapt.
Mr. Autrey lay on Mr. Hollopeter, his heart pounding, pressing him down in a space roughly a foot deep. The train’s brakes screeched, but it could not stop in time.
Only a few days in, this may very well be the feel-good story of the year. And there's been plenty of hubbub. Michael Bloomberg awarded him the bronze star, the city's highest citizen award (previous winners include Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur). Donald Trump has given him $10K. MTA gave him a years supply of metrocards (woohoo! come on MTA, if ever there was a moment to give the lifetime metrocard this was it). There's talk of reality shows, and scholarships for his daughter. All very deserving.
Do read the NY Times opinion/comment section, where there are 540+ comments and counting, all amusingly speculating on whether they'd have the cajones to Do What Wesley Did.
Two subsequent thoughts that strike me: 1.) The man he saved was a stranger, and by himself, but what if he was there with his girlfriend or boyfriend? Obviously he's a hero/angel/new hardcore emcee moniker because anyone might pause before jumping in front of an oncoming train, even if you'd been dating for a while. But I'm totally amused by the idea that someone's partner falls in, they don't have the balls to save them, but this guy does. And now you have to face that in the aftermath. Would the relationship be over? If it were a married couple, would you just hold it over their head for the rest of all time? "I know you couldn't save me on the train tracks earlier, so just plan on taking out the trash and washing the dishes in perpetuity. Thanks. Oh, and the oral sex? Wesley's gonna be receiving that going forward. Just FYI."
2.) On the flip side, while I'm totally in the Wesley-as-angel camp, he did have two daughters, so it's not just his life he was risking. If the scene turns tragic, who knows how they might be affected. It's slightly less selfless (microscopically so) because of their presence.
Luckily it was all good, so we just get to watch a hero get his due. And I'm feeling all the rewards and accolades he's getting, so I might just start going around pushing people into traffic and on to train tracks just so I can save them and make some paper. Might be easier than getting paid via writing for magazines.
Man Is Rescued by Stranger on Subway Tracks [NY Times]
Subway Savior Showered With Gifts [Federal News Radio]