2009-03-13 / Front Page

Local Heroes Help Save A Life

By Nicholas Briano

David Roman knew it was his lucky day when, on his way to Brooklyn, he suffered a seizure on a train platform, fell onto the tracks, and would have been killed by the oncoming A train if it wasn't for the heroics of a few good members of the Rockaway Beach community.

Roman, 35, left his home in Rockaway Beach last Thursday and walked up the stairs of the Beach 98 Street station, paid his fare, and waited for the train that would have brought him to visit his godfather, a trip he made regularly.

But less than a minute before that Brooklyn-bound A train was set to arrive at the platform, Roman collapsed, began having a seizure and fell to the tracks below.

That's when a total stranger risked his own life, jumping to Roman's aid and began struggling to lift him back to safety, while onlookers screamed at the train to stop it from barreling down onto the two, his younger sister, Adelaida, later learned.

"The police told him that it was his lucky day," his sister said. "It is important to know that there are still good people in the community."

Roman, who has a history of seizures, is still recovering in the hospital and was unable to comment.

Since the incident, Adelaida says, they have found out that it was a neighbor who jumped to save her brother and that she and their mother are eternally grateful that he was willing to help.

"My mother gave him a thank you card for his bravery," she said. "We just want to give thanks to everyone who helped my brother."

An interview with the motorman of the A train that morning was refused by the MTA, which had no comment other than saying that the man made no contact with the train or third rail and was lifted to safety.

Roman made no contact with the train because of the efforts of those rush-hour commuters who were screaming for the train to stop and the motorman who had the level-headedness to react quickly to what was happening.

"We are truly lucky that there are still good people in Rockaway," Adelaida says.

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