Tragedy on the tracks

A man was killed early Wednesday morning by the R train, at the77th Street subway stop in Bay Ridge.

The victim, confirmed by police to be white and in his 40s, wascarrying no identification when his body was recovered from theQueens-bound tunnel. Police have yet to determine who he was, andwhether or not his death was accidental.

There is no criminality at this point, but it is still unknownhow he got there, said NYPD Detective Mark Nell.

The fatal collision delayed the morning commute by almost threehours as police closed off the station. R train service wassuspended in both directions from the 59th Street station to the95th Street stop between 5:33 a.m. (when police were firstnotified) and 8:24 a.m.

According to MTA Spokesperson Deirdre Parker, the agency did itsbest to offer subway riders another way to get to theirdestination.

We put out shuttle buses for people to take as alternative,Parker said.

Apparently, this is a situation the MTA has had to deal withfrequently in recent years.

Parker cited NYPD figures stating that there have already been28 people struck by the subway this year. Of these incidents, 16were fatal. New York City Transit figures also recorded 90 peoplehit by the train in 2009, 40 of whom died.

The scourge of recent deaths has caused the MTA to look into thecost of installing metal and glass subway doors that would preventpeople from falling or jumping onto the tracks.

The system, akin to the one used by the Airtrain at JFK Airport,was determined by the MTA to be too expensive.

It’s something we can’t move forward on right now due to lackof funds, said MTA Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

Bay Ridge resident Irwin Romer would be satisfied if the MTAcould just deal with this type of delay in less time.

I think they have to look for procedures so they can do thatmuch quicker if possible, Romer said, referring to the nearlythree hours it took to return train service to normal.

He feels that subway riders were unfairly penalized as theywaited for hours due to something they had no part in.

For those hours, you’re the victim! he said.

Baruch College student and neighborhood resident Aly Sardo takesthe R train to school daily. She was shocked by the morning’sevents.

It’s tragic and it’s scary! Sardo said. It’s tragic for hisfamily, but it’s sad for the community that some place that seemedsafe, turned horrible.

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