Man Risks Life to Save Stranger on Tracks

SEPTA releases surveillance video that shows a Good Samaritan jumping down on the tracks to save a man

By Lauren DiSanto and Dan Stamm
|  Saturday, Mar 30, 2013  |  Updated 7:19 AM EDT
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Christopher Knafelc is being hailed a hero after he risked his own life to save the life of a man who fell onto the SEPTA subway tracks.

NBC10

Christopher Knafelc is being hailed a hero after he risked his own life to save the life of a man who fell onto the SEPTA subway tracks.

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SEPTA says a passenger who jumped off a subway platform to save a complete stranger who fell onto the tracks, is a recovering drug addict with a troubled past.

"He's clean and sober for about 2 1/2 years but still trying to get his life together. I think by doing this good Samaritan deed he kind of surprised himself," said Jerri Williams, SEPTA spokeswoman.

NBC10 talked with Christopher Knafelc about his heroic act caught on surveillance video. "Out of the corner of my eye I seen like a body flail onto the tracks," said Knafelc.

Knafelc literally jumped into action Thursday afternoon at SEPTA's Broad Street Line subway station at Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philly. After Knafelc jumped off the platform, he told other witnesses to call for help and to stop southbound trains.

He stayed with the man until help arrived.

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The 63-year-old man who fell was taken to Temple University Hospital. He is expected to be OK, according to SEPTA.

It's unclear why the man to fall on the tracks in the first place.

As for the Good Samaritan who risked his life considering the third rail was electrified.

"I was like 99.9 percent positive that I wouldn't get electrocuted," Knafelc told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I can't see (the tracks) being able to electrocute you, because too many people would get hurt."

Online court records show Knafelc pleaded guilty in 2010 in Pennsylvania to charges of theft, driving under the influence, child endangerment and driving without a license.

"It's amazing. This incident may be the start of really good things for him," said Williams, who adds the heroic act could help Knafelc move forward with his life.

"I can't imagine not helping somebody in that situation, like I can't imagine that," said Knafelc.

 


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