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He saves drunk from train death: Heroic PATH guard grabs man with seconds to spare


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A heroic security guard snatched a drunken and disoriented man from the tracks of a PATH station, sparing him from almost certain death as a train roared in their direction.


Terrence Kelsor went way beyond his duties as the night watchman when he saw the unsteady drunkard stumble onto the tracks at the Christopher St. station about 11:45 p.m. Friday.


"I had 10 seconds - I counted it in my head," Kelsor told the Daily News, hours after his breathtaking act of bravery.


The 54-year-old hero from Newark dropped to his belly, reached down and grabbed the stranger by his shirt, pulling him off the tracks, as the train barreled closer.


"Somehow, I had superhuman strength," Kelsor said. "It was by the grace of God. It could have been his life. It could have been mine. Both our lives were in jeopardy."


Bystanders were left stunned by Kelsor's quick reflexes and unflinching courage.


"He didn't hesitate," said witness Derek Walker, with the Army Corps of Engineers. "I hesitated, and I just got back from Iraq."


"The guard was in complete control," Walker added. "You could tell he was acting with urgency, but he wasn't panicked."


Kelsor, who stands 5-feet-7 and weighs 170 pounds, said the roughly 250-pound lush was so drunk "you could smell it coming out of his pores."


"The guy just kept saying, 'I'm all right. I'm all right,'" Kelsor said. "But clearly he wasn't."


Both Port Authority and Kelsor's employer, FJC Security Services, confirmed the rescue and said the victim walked away unharmed.


Security guards are posted in PATH stations when Port Authority employees are off duty, a spokeswoman said.


Kelsor's job is to radio Port Authority police for assistance in the event of an emergency - but this time he didn't have time.


"I had to react quick," said Kelsor, who has been on the job for only three weeks. "I knew if I didn't do something, this man was going to die."


Still, the humble guard brushed aside any suggestion that he was a hero.


"At that time, I was just concerned about the man's life," Kelsor said. "I wasn't thinking about being a hero."


BY Tanyanika Samuels and Samuel Goldsmith


March 1st 2009



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