August 31,1997-My surreal NYC subway experience.....

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August 31,1997-My surreal NYC subway experience.....

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:42 pm

Everyone: 10 years ago yesterday I had a incident happen riding the NYC Subway involving a train I rode. I wanted to post this yesterday but due to computer problems I could not.
I was visiting friends in Kew Gardens,Queens and they live in a doorman-guarded building. They had given me a key as well as informed the door staff of my presence. I had no problems-except with a certain doorman that I feel went out of his way to give me a hard time entering the building. I went into Manhattan on the subway that day-it was uneventful until the late evening when I realized it was getting quite late-I wanted to go back to KG so I chose the F train from Midtown at 47/50 Rockefeller Center Station. As I was using the turnstile a train came in-I dashed down the stairs only to have the doors close practically when I was right outside the car-the Conductor noticed and quickly re-opened the doors-I gave him a hearty thumbs-up as I jumped on board. I was in the first car of a train of R46 equipment - the train had some standees but I found a seat anyway and I pulled out a newspaper I was carrying for the ride.
As we were pulling into the 53/Lexington Station the entire car was startled by a commotion outside-we all looked and wondered to each other-what just happened? It turns out we had struck a middle-aged man that was either jumping in front or had fallen in front of the train. We stopped only about halfway into the station and somewhat short I recall. The motorman - a 30 something Hispanic male I remember - came out of the cab in somewhat of a daze. The train crew began keying open doors to evacuate the train and I noticed the victim-he was between the 1st and 2nd car - and not in one piece either. I recall a 30 something young woman was staring and freaking out literally - I recall yelling at her "GET OUT OF HERE - GO AWAY-NOW!!!" I sure did not want to see it either - but I had to get back to Queens so I caught the next available train back towards 42nd Street to catch the 7 train - I knew the E/F trains line would be significantly delayed or worse. When I got to 74/Roosevelt and went downstairs I figured I could take a local to 71/Continental and make my way back to KG if necessary from there.
After a short wait a E train showed up-I got on breathing a preverbial sigh of relief that I would get back to my hosts in reasonable time. When I got back I had found out that the problem doorman would not go on duty until much later than I thought-Midnight I recall it was-so I then realized I need not have rushed. My hosts gave me a message to call another friend back-I returned his call and I told him what had happened-he had heard about the fatal subway accident on the radio-and then he told me about the then-breaking news of the Princess Diana car accident-he mentioned she was badly hurt and that her boyfriend Dodi Fayed had died. After turning on the TV late that night it was all anyone was talking about-I then found out she had then died also of her injuries. I looked in NYC newspapers for the next couple of days and looked at local TV news-nothing was again mentioned of that fatal subway accident. The Diana tragedy was major world news as we were then all realizing.
I have only been involved in two fatal accidents on trains I was riding in over 30 years of train riding-this one as well as a SEPTA R5 Regional Rail train I was on had struck and killed a man near the Ambler station in early March of 1997. None before this and thankfully none since. To this day I avoid using the 53/Lexington subway station if at all possible-I consider it one of the most dangerous stations in the NYC Subway system on a safety stand point due to its narrow island platform and at times its extreme overcrowding.
In closing August 31,1997 was quite a memorable night-for all the WRONG reasons!!!! MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Pelham » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:19 am

Wow what an experance. Its sad but jumpers or person under trains is very commen but most of the time is never reported by the Media. Just an example we had 3 fatal incidents in the last two week and only one was reported.
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Postby Gerry6309 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:26 pm

Pelham wrote:Wow what an experance. Its sad but jumpers or person under trains is very commen but most of the time is never reported by the Media. Just an example we had 3 fatal incidents in the last two week and only one was reported.

We had three or four within a few days here in Boston. Not only did they get press, but one paper did a story on the people who have to investigate them.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

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Re: August 31,1997-My surreal NYC subway experience.....

Postby ryanov » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:00 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:To this day I avoid using the 53/Lexington subway station if at all possible-I consider it one of the most dangerous stations in the NYC Subway system on a safety stand point due to its narrow island platform and at times its extreme overcrowding.
Agreed -- I use it frequently, and it's a nightmare at certain times and a danger at others.
|=| R. Novosielski |=|
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Re: August 31,1997-My surreal NYC subway experience.....

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:53 am

Everyone:

Ten years have passed since I posted this memory of my unforgettable experience involving the
NYC Subway a decade earlier on August 31, 1997.

With the 20th anniversary of the car accident in which Britain's Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died
in Paris fleeing paparazzi on this date many are remembering where they were when they heard of
the news of this tragedy - this was a day that would be infamous to many including me.

In the subsequent 20 years I have not seen up close or have been involved in any fatal accidents
involving trains that I have either ridden or trainspotted on location.

I still visit my friends in Queens at the same building and over time I have gotten to know many of
the building staff quite well and that "problem" doorman? We straightened out any problems once
he got to know me better and then he ended up leaving back in 2000...

I still consider the 53/Lexington Station one of the most dangerous Subway stations on a crowding
standpoint and will avoid using this station unless it is absolutely necessary...

This was my recollection of what happened to me 20 years ago today.
For many memories of August 31, 1997 will never be forgotten...

MACTRAXX
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Re: August 31,1997-My surreal NYC subway experience.....

Postby railfan365 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:08 pm

I experienced something somewhat relevant in 1999. I was working in downtown Brooklyn, and had recently moved to East 74th Street. I took an East Side Express train from near my office to Grand Central, with the plan of changing there for a local. When the express landed at 42nd Street, I experienced (yet again) the frustration of running across the platform to see the glare of tail lights on a train leaving without me. I was relieved when the next local arrived just a moment later. But it was standing there for quite a long time, and the power was cut to the local track after an announcement about a passenger in distress. For the issue of getting home, I took a later express to 59th Street, and hiked home from there. I later found out that I was lucky to miss the local train that I missed - that when it was arriving at 51st Street, one Edgar Rivera was heaved off the platform by a demented homelss man, just as the train was entering the station. Mr. Rivera lived, but with brain damage and no legs.
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