Diving onto subway tracks, a Harlem father saved the life of a stranger yesterday when he pinned the flailing man between the rails just seconds before a 370-ton train roared over their entwined bodies.
"Please, sir, don't move," Wesley Autrey, 50, said as he shoved his body against Cameron Hollopeter, who had tumbled off the platform after suffering a seizure. "If you move, one of us is going to lose a leg or die."
The men, who were jammed face-to-face in a 2-foot depression between the tracks, were unharmed by the No. 1 train that screamed over them, just inches away.
Transit officials said the train operator reported to the rail control center that he saw a person on the roadbed upon entering the station. He made an emergency stop and found the men under the second car of the 10-car train.
"Am I dead?" Hollopeter asked, according to the man who saved his life. "Am I dead?"
"I said, 'No, we're under the train,'" Autrey recalled.
"'You're touching me. You feel me touching you? We're very much alive.'"
Autrey, who was trapped under the train for 20 minutes before workers turned off the power, said he could hear his daughters screaming.
"My daddy!" they hollered. "My daddy!"
Witnesses said Autrey began shouting at straphangers to be quiet so he could pass a message to his kids. The platform grew silent.
"Let my daughters know that I'm okay and that the man is okay!" he shouted, as onlookers broke into applause.
After the power was turned off, Autrey crawled to safety and used a step on the back of one of the subway cars to climb to safety. He emerged with grime on his right sleeve, hip and back. He said a grease stain on his hat came from being grazed by the bottom of the train.