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Three men wasted no time jumping onto the subway tracks to save a man who fell off the platform in the early morning hours Sunday, barely missing the next train rolling into the station.
The incident happened at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday at Columbus Circle, when a man in his twenties hit his head and stumbled onto the tracks at the 1 train platform. The next train was supposed to arrive in two minutes when 22-year-old Garrett O'Hanlon jumped onto the tracks.
"I looked over and saw him down there, and everyone started to scream," the Air Force cadet from Dallas, Texas, told NBC 4 New York Monday. "After that, it was almost like a blur, it happened so quickly."
Seeing O'Hanlon struggle with the unconscious and bleeding man, 23-year-old Dennis Codrington jumped in, along with his friend from Poughkeepsie, 23-year-old Matt Foley. The three worked quickly as the train approached.
"He had to be 220 to 240, he was a very heavy man," said O'Hanlon. "I couldn't lift him by myself."
Codrington, a personal trainer at Equinox who lives in Washington Heights, told NBC 4 New York, "It was really surreal. I can't tell you what I was thinking when I was down there. The last thing that went through my head was just get the guy off the tracks."
The three men were still struggling to lift the man on the tracks onto the platform when other straphangers pitched in. "The people on the platform were pulling him up, pulling us up," said O'Hanlon. "It was like collaboration of teamwork." The three heroes got up just in time. First responders rushed the unconscious man to a hospital. His condition was unclear.
Codrington soon boarded a train to go back to work, and O'Hanlon had a flight to catch back to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. "To witness something like that, witness someone almost being killed, it just puts a lot of things in perspective for me," said Codrington.