Three Men Join Efforts to Rescue Man from N.Y. Subway Tracks

Three Men Join Efforts to Rescue Man from N.Y. Subway Tracks

News Feb 18, 2013

Three selfless subway heroes jumped into the tracks of a Manhattan station when an incapacitated stranger fell in yesterday — and miraculously hoisted the passed-out twentysomething back to the platform before the next 1 train rushed in.

The Columbus Circle station was packed with bar time traffic about 2:40 a.m when a man in his twenties, who appeared to be drunk, nailed his head hard on the rail and stumbled from the platform onto the tracks, unconscious.

 At first, one scream pierced through the platform. Then others joined in as straphangers started to realize the man couldn’t get back up. Several witnesses broke into tears.

With the next train slated to arrive in two minutes, Garrett O’Hanlon, 22, jumped into the tracks.

“I couldn’t watch a man die. It was such a rush, it happened so quickly — I just had to react,” said O’Hanlon, a cadet third class at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. “He was unconscious, he was bleeding, and I couldn’t lift him up by myself.”

Seeing O’Hanlon’s struggle, Dennis Codrington Jr., 23, jumped in.

“The guy was pretty heavy and the train was coming,” said Codrington, of Washington Heights, a personal trainer at the Equinox in the Upper West Side.

A friend of Codrington’s — Matt Foley, 23, of Poughkeepsie — sprung into action.

“The train was one minute away,” Foley said. “Once you’re down there, you’ve got to make moves. It was out of control.”

But as they tried to hoist the stocky man up, the three realized they couldn’t lift him entirely over the platform.

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“Garrett! Come back!” desperately screamed the cadet’s sister, Agnes, 24, of Washington Heights.

The clock announced less than one minute for the next uptown 1 train to arrive.

“I don’t know if the train got a notification, I wasn’t even paying attention,” said O’Hanlon, a sophomore majoring in economics who spent the weekend in the city visiting his sister. “It was coming toward us but when we were down there, there was only one objective — to get this guy out.”

Other straphangers started to pull the man up and got him over the edge. O’Hanlon managed to jump up but Codrington and Foley needed a lift.

“I’m glad there were good people there,” said Foley, who got up, along with Codrington, with help from several bystanders.

First responders rushed the unconscious man to New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center. His face was soaked in blood from what appeared to be a broken nose but he looked to still be breathing.

The unidentified man’s condition was unclear yesterday, FDNY said.

Codrington was shaking after the incident.

“It puts a whole new perspective on everything,” he said afterward. “There have been times when I’ve been drunk coming back home. It could’ve been me.”

Foley, an automotive technician, woke up feeling some “Good Karma” after his heroic deed.

“I’m currently unemployed, so I feel pretty useless right now,” he said. “But now I feel like a new person, and good things are happening everywhere.”

His dad, who works in the transit industry, couldn’t help but worry about his son when he heard about the story.

“He was kind of angry that I went on the tracks,” Foley added. “But I wasn’t going to not help; it’s inhumane.”

After the incident, O’Henlon’s sister Agnes confessed she “thought the train might run over all of them.”

“I was very frightened. I know how fast the train comes,” she added. “But I’m just very proud of my brother. A little shakey, but very proud.”


Republished with permission of The New York Post

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