NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) — A man pulls a teenage girl from the tracks at a New York City subway station, less than a minute before the train came barreling down the track.
Joshua Garcia sprung into action despite having no medical training.
“The sound of how she hit the track was so loud it sounded like a gunshot,” Garcia said.
Garcia recalls the moment when he both saw and heard 16-year-old Stephanie Xue fall and hit her head on the subway tracks at the Union Square station.
“I mean the skull you could see the skeleton part of her head,” Garcia said.
It was Wednesday night just before 7:00 p.m.
Garcia saw her teetering dangerously close to the edge.
When she fell, Garcia went after her, but had to fight his way past people. Namely his co-worker trying to restrain him.
“So she didn’t know what [happened] her back was faced toward the girl so she didn’t know what happened,” Garcia said.
He says that gunshot-like sound of the teen falling made people think actual gunfire was about to erupt.
But Garcia, a father of three, says instinct and adrenaline kicked in.
“I didn’t even think. I was in my body… it was like a movie… the train was 2 minutes [away] you could actually see the light on the railing,” Garcia said.
He jumped down and hoisted the 5-foot-4 teen over his head and put her back onto the platform with 40 seconds to spare before the train barreled in.
And for a moment, he was hit with a disturbing thought.
Despite the subway platform being just as crowded as it is today, Garcia says he seemed to be the only one who jumped into action.
“Real eye opener like wow, how can people be so cruel in this world a young girl,” Garcia said.
A nursing student though did come over to help Garcia who cradled the teen until an ambulance arrived.
34-year-old Garcia, a modest man, says he’s not a hero. There was just something greater at work here.
“I was just a pawn in the game of life that God put me in this situation because I normally would’ve left work at 5 instead of 6:45,” Garcia said.
Now he hopes to have a reunion with the teen who he’s been told is doing fine. Thanks to his selfless actions.