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Sick diabetic falls on 34th St. tracks & eagle-eyed motorman stops in time


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Sick diabetic falls on 34th St. tracks & eagle-eyed motorman stops in time



September 12th 2008, 10:42 PM



Schwartz for News

Relieved V train driver Eugene Hart saw him just in time. William Meyer (below)

at Bellevue Hospital, where rescuers (above) took him after fall onto tracks.


Subway motorman Eugene Hart did two things when he spotted a man on the tracks Friday morning.


He slammed on the brakes. And he started to pray.


"It seemed like I had a chance not to hit him," Hart told the Daily News. "I kept saying, 'Please don't, please don't.'"


The 370-ton train came to a screeching halt just a few feet short of where diabetic straphanger William Meyer had collapsed onto the tracks at the Herald Square station.


Peering down from his cab in the front car, Hart couldn't tell that at first.


Seconds felt like hours as he tried to determine whether the well-dressed man wound up under his downtown V train.


"I'm searching the train...I'm searching the tracks," said Hart, who has been an MTA motorman for 20 years. "I see the blood, but I don't see the guy."


Meyer, 52, staggered down the tracks toward an MTA work crew.


"I went toward them...I followed the lights and sounds," Meyer told The News later. "They got me up and onto the station."


Meyer, who ended up with nothing worse than cuts on his arms and head, was rushed by paramedics to Bellevue Hospital, where he was in stable condition.


"I'm very lucky, considering where I was and what was going on," he said from his hospital bed. "I've had problems before, but I never ended up in the subway, on the tracks or falling down."


Meyer, a video technician, was in Penn Station to catch a Long Island Rail Road train to his home in Hempstead, L.I., when he went into diabetic shock, he said.


"When that happens, it usually causes me confusion," said Meyer, who has Type 1 diabetes and frequently suffers from hypoglycemia.


"So instead of walking into the LIRR, I ended up in the subway."


"You survive [the seizures], but there are points where you put yourself in danger," said Meyer, who said he was ticketed three years ago while having a seizure by cops who thought he was drunk.


Meyer has no memory of his fall into the tracks but was grateful that Hart was able to react so quickly.


"Thank God for the motorman stopping the train," Meyer said. "I feel okay aside from the scrapes, but considering where I was, I don't see any problem with that."

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