Monday, May 02, 2005

Sunday morning F Train

Yesterday morning at around 5:45 AM I was waiting for the F train at the Jay Street station when suddenly, out of nowhere, this wheelchair comes rolling down the stairs followed by this homeless (or just a little-bit crazy) guy hobbling behind. When the wheelchair hit the bottom of the stairs it did what all things with wheels do when they hit the bottom of stairs – it started to roll.

As the chair started to roll down it headed for – you guessed it – the tracks. The voice from the stairs emitted the oddest sounding “Oh no” you ever heard. And a second later me and this other guy just about run in to each other head-on each trying to grab the wheelchair from opposite directions. We each got there about a second too late, and it went right down on to the tracks.

We stared at each other for a second not knowing what to do. At that point two other people came over and started arguing about what should be done. One guy insisted we call the train people, and another insisted it was OK to go down and get it.

I looked both ways, and dropped my bag (and my Talmud) on the floor and went in to the tracks. I handed the wheelchair up to one of arguing people and then the other one helped me get back up.

At that point two transit employees had just arrived. One started helping the guy with the wheelchair and the other was looking around. He came toward me and asked if I was the one who got the chair and I said “yes”. He thanked me, and moved on. Then one of the two arguing people (he was Indian) came to me and was going on and on about what a great thing it was to get the chair from the tracks.

The train didn’t come for another 5 minutes.


bec said...

that's incredibly selfless. i'm very impressed. question for you but i'll email you later.

Joclyn said...

Aren't those tracks always much farther down than you think they are?

bec said...

just like those trains are always much less crowded and cleaner than they appear.

ptjew said...

You counted on strangers to pull you out of a train ditch.

Anonymous said...

A truly great deed,
but dangerous and foolish, especially a track thats in service with no speed restriction, for the price of a wheel chair? that train ( each car over 40 tons) does NOT stop on a dime at all, the train rarely gets damaged when the heavy mechanicals hit anybody, maybe superficially,
I wont even get into the 600v 3rd rail.
Yes ' I work there for a living.

Karl said...

Yeah, I know, it's not something I'm likely to repeat. And I would never have gone near the metal chair if it was near the third rail. Thanks.