A quick-thinking commuter saved a teenager who fell on the subway tracks by pushing him down into a furrow between the rails, allowing an approaching train to pass right over them, police said.

An 18-year-old man had some kind of medical problem Tuesday and fell onto the tracks, which are a few feet below platform level, police said. Wesley Autrey saw him fall, jumped down onto the tracks after him and rolled with him into the rut between the rails as a southbound train was coming in.

Autrey said he initially tried to pull the man up to the platform but had to decide whether he could get him up in time to avoid both of them getting hit.

"I just chose to dive on top of him and pin him down and pin myself down," he said.

The incident took place around 12:45 p.m. at the station at 137th Street and Broadway in Manhattan on the No. 1 subway line.

Two cars of the train passed over the men before it came to a stop. Neither man was hit, police said, and Autrey, who had his two young daughters traveling with him, refused any medical attention. The rescued man, whose name had not been released, was taken to a local hospital.

Onlooker Patricia Brown said Autrey "needs to be recognized as a hero."

Train service on the line, which runs between the southern tip of Manhattan and the Bronx, was suspended for about 45 minutes because of the incident.