After several days of trying, Great Neck resident Dorothy Goldman was scheduled Wednesday to thank in person the man who rescued her 92-year-old husband June 5 after he fell through a gap between the train and the platform at the Great Neck Plaza Long Island Rail Road station
Neil Hicks, a NYPD officer and Great Neck resident, was identified as the Good Samaritan who rescued Benjamin Goldman after Dorothy issued a plea to several news organizations to help identify him and get him to come forward to be thanked.
Hicks had disappeared after saving Benjamin.
“He got in touch with us and he’s coming over today, the policeman that pulled me out,” said Benjamin from his Village of Great Neck Plaza home early Wednesday.
Benjamin said that although he said he is not feeling that great he is glad to be home. The retired optician broke his cheek bones and injured one eye in the fall, but sustained no long-term damage.
“It’ll take me a little time until I get back to normal,” he said. “We’re going to stay home for a couple of days.”
Benjamin said he is unclear how he fell through the gap, an event which terrified his wife of 55 years.
“We both use canes, but I always come out after him in case I need him to give me his hand,” Dorothy said. “I was behind him. All of a sudden he was gone. My greatest fear was the train would start and they would kill him.”
Fortunately, it did not.
With the Sunday evening train from Manhattan packed, Hicks jumped in the gap to retrieve Benjamin. A conductor later brought up his shoes and glasses.
“Now that tells you how wide that gap is, that three men went down there,” Dorothy said. “I have to tell you, everybody was wonderful. We are so fortunate.”
Benjamin does not understand the public’s interest in his fall.
“The only thing I think is good is that they will do a little bit more to fix out those gaps between the train and the platform,” he said.
Benjamin had been to Manhattan with his wife for a trip to the ballet.
He said they try and make it to the city at least twice each month, a routine that recent events will probably not interrupt.
“We think we’ll go,” Benjamin said. “We were going for so many years and we’ve never had any problems.”