Philadelphian jumps on subway tracks to help fallen man

Christopher Knafelc hailed as hero

PHILADELPHIA - A recovering drug addict with a long rap sheet is being hailed as a hero for jumping onto subway tracks in Philadelphia to rescue a man.

Christopher Knafelc, 32, was waiting for a train at a station in north Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon when he saw a man walk off the platform and fall on the tracks. He jumped down to help the man, knowing that another train would be arriving in a few minutes.

"I had a plan if a train came I was going to roll him underneath," Knafelc told WPVI-TV, "or if I couldn't, I was going to ask someone to jump down and help me roll him."

He held the man's head and neck stable until firefighters arrived. Train traffic was halted.

"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."

Knafelc tells the Philadelphia Daily News he has struggled with drug addiction for most of his adult life but is getting his life back on track.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokeswoman Jerri Williams says she thinks Knafelc "kind of surprised himself" by his good deed. She says this could mean the start of really good things in his life.

Investigators don't know what caused the man to fall on the tracks. He was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition.

"He didn't thank me, but I know he was thankful," Knafelc told the Daily News. "You know what I mean? In my heart I believe he was."

"With addiction, you really struggle to be you," he told the newspaper. "I reacted, and that was me. It helps reinforce that I am good. That I am a good person."

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