Man in wheelchair falls on rail tracks

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Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 10:13am

Good Samaritans rescue man in wheelchair who went off subway platform in DC.

A historic story underground.

A man in a wheelchair accidentally went off the platform and right onto the metro tracks in Washington last week.

That's when two strangers jumped in to save them.

Thousands of people race into the metro center station every day, but only one man -

"Yes sir, I was the first one."

Raced to save a life.

"I was just doing the right thing, pretty much like anyone else would have done."

Army Specialist Michael Menchaca is a reluctant hero.

Yet heroic is the only way to define what happened at metro center Independence day.

A man in a wheelchair trying to get closer to read a metro sign plummets off the platform face first.

Michael just happened to be descending the escalator.

"And I saw something go over on the track."

"I went to go see, looked down there and there was a guy strapped to his wheelchair."

The unidentified man was not only attached to his wheelchair but he had landed right next to the 750 volt 3rd rail. Menchaca says he had to act.

"I just jump down there, started helping him out, tried picking him up, but realized he was still seatbelt strapped to his wheelchair."

Menchaca struggled with the belt, worried a train was barreling down on them.

"Every second felt like 30 seconds you know that kind of thing."

That's when a passenger from the opposite side of the platform leapt over both 3rd rails, to help lift the man who is now recovering.

Menchaca has returned to duty unaware he's being considered for the Soldier's Medal, that's the army's highest peace-time award.

So you don't think those actions were heroic?

"Uh, in my book. No, not really. I was just doing the right thing."

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