Tragic Death Of A 13 Year Old Boy

Tragedy struck during tonight’s rush hour as a 13 year old boy was killed after being run over by a LIRR train. Here is the story courtesy of NY1:

Authorities say a 13-year-old boy was struck and killed by a Long Island Rail Road train Friday evening in Queens.
The accident happened just west of the Forest Hills station. The eastbound train had left Penn Station shortly after 5 p.m.

Sources say the boy may have been spray painting graffiti when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

As a result of the accident, Friday’s evening commute was delayed along the Long Island Rail Road. LIRR service into Penn Station was suspended, and there were outbound delays of up to two hours.

Normal service was restored by Friday night.

Here is a longer article about it courtesy of 1010 Wins

A boy was struck and killed by a Long Island Rail Road train headed to Huntington during the evening rush hour Friday, officials said.

Friends of the boy’s family told 1010 WINS the 13-year-old was with a group of friends graffiti-ing the area, which is in the vicinity of Rego Park, Queens.

The victim was a student at Russell Sage Junior High School and at a Hebrew school in Forest Hills, and lived with his single mother who moved to Queens from Israel before her son was born.

The incident occurred around 5:40 p.m. near 67th Road and Austin Street. The boy was in the company of a friend, who notified the police, said Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesman. Police declined to notify the boy pending discussion wtih relatives.

A friend of the family told 1010 WINS the boy’s mother is still in shock, partly because no one knew or can understand what he was doing at the train tracks at sundown. 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum reported the tracks themselves are extremely inaccessible to pedestrians.

The boy’s body has been removed from the tracks.

The train, which carries about 1,000 people at that hour, was between the Woodside and Forest Hills stations in Queens, according to Susan McGowan, an LIRR spokeswoman.

Service was suspended for hours in both directions between Jamaica, Queens, and Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Limited eastbound service was restored on the eastbound trains two hours after the accident, and full service was restored with heavy delays by about 9 p.m., LIRR officials said.

The 5:17 p.m. train was scheduled to arrive Huntington at 6:21 p.m. but was delayed at the scene several hours as investigators worked.

The incident caused backups at Penn Station. McGowan said New York City Transit honored LIRR tickets to help ease the flow.

I hope to not offend my readers but I am an honest man. I do not believe in sugarcoating things whether good or bad. My question is what in the hell was this kid thinking? What would posses you to be anywhere near or on train tracks?

My heart goes out to his family. I find it a shame that they lost a loved one because of blatant stupidity. I know it might seem harsh but the truth must be told! People stop getting near or on train tracks. The tracks are so dangerous & all the deaths that occur haven’t woken people up! Kids, adults, animals, hell even monsters if they exist, stay away from the tracks!

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It Was Good To Be Back!

Today was the first day I went on the subway in 2007. I ended the last few days of 2006 staying within my neighborhood. I felt like I haven’t been on the subway in ages! The walk to the station was a quick one & the wait for the train was even quicker.

I had to run a few errands today including going to the bank & post office. I boarded the 6 train to 59th St & took in the feeling of being back where I love to be! I have to admit though I was taken back by the amount of people I saw getting once we hit Manhattan. I don’t know why I was surprised though considering it was after 3PM!

I guess being away from the subway made me forget how crazy the Lexington Avenue lines are. I also think the last few rides of 2006 being lighter than usual made me forget. Either way the ride to & from Manhattan was comfortable & painless. Lets hope many of my commutes this year are the same!

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Getting What He Deserves!

Wesley Autrey was honored today at a ceremony inside City Hall. Here is the story courtesy of NY1:

The subway Samaritan was welcomed as a hero at City Hall today.
Wesley Autrey was greeted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, two days after saving a man who had fallen onto the tracks at the 137th Street station. Autrey was given a medal, 12 free unlimited ride Metrocards and a trip to Disneyworld.

He says while the honors are nice, he was just doing what anyone would have done.
“I wasn’t expecting any of this,” said Autrey. “The free ride for the whole year. I mean, I’m grateful for everything. I guess good things happen when you do good, and that’s what I’m saying. All New Yorkers, we need to do good.

Autrey’s also making the TV rounds, taping an appearance on the David Letterman Show.
Cameron Hollopeter, 20, suffered a seizure and when he fell off the platform. That’s when Autrey jumped into action, squeezing himself and Hollopeter into a small space between the rails, barely avoiding an oncoming train.

The Hollopeter family has nothing but thanks for Autrey. In a statement, they said Autrey is “a hero in every sense of the word, and truly a blessing from the Almighty. He deserves all of the attention and the accolades that are now being bestowed upon him.”

They say Cameron and Autrey had a very emotional and private meeting Wednesday.
The family says they are grateful to everyone near and far who have expressed their best wishes to Cameron.

Here is a longer story about today’s ceremony courtesy of 1010 Wins:

The construction worker who rescued a stranger from an oncoming subway train has become a national hero.
But Wesley Autrey doesn’t see it that way.

“I’m still saying I’m not a hero … ’cause I believe all New Yorkers should get into that type of mode,’’ he said on CBS’ “The Early Show’’ Thursday. “You should do the right thing.’’

On an interview that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America’’: “I don’t want people to blow this out of proportion.’’

Nonetheless, Autrey’s phone has been ringing off the hook — some of the callers complete strangers so inspired by his bravery that they offered rewards. Autrey even got a call from Donald Trump’s people, offering a $10,000 check.

Besides appearing on several morning television shows Thursday, he was set to tape an appearance on David Letterman’s CBS “Late Show.’’

Around noon Thursday, he visited City Hall and was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg presented Autrey with “The Bronze Medallion” at City Hall Thursday — the city’s highest award for civic achievement.

He was also given 12 months worth of free Metro subway cards.
Quite the day for the 50-year-old construction worker and father of three.

It’s all hitting me now,’’ Wesley Autrey said Wednesday as he reflected on his risky rescue of a 19-year-old who had fallen onto a subway track as a train was approaching.

Looking back on his dramatic decision to jump onto to the tracks and push the young man into a gap between the rails, Autrey said he told himself, “Wow, you did something pretty stupid.’’

But even knowing that he narrowly escaped injury or potentially death, the 50-year-old Harlem construction worker doesn’t regret his choice.

“I did something to save someone’s life,’’ Autrey said.

Waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, he saw Cameron Hollopeter, a film student, suffering from some kind of medical episode. After stumbling down the platform, Hollopeter, of Littleton, Mass., fell onto the tracks with a train on its way into the station.

Autrey, traveling with his two young daughters, knew he had to do something.

“If I let him stay there by himself, he’s going to be dismembered,’’ the Navy veteran remembered thinking.

He jumped down to the tracks, a few feet below platform level, and rolled with the young man into a drainage trough –cold, wet and more than a little unpleasant smelling — between the rails as the southbound No. 1 train came into the 137th Street/City College station.

The train’s operator saw someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on. Some train cars passed over Autrey and Hollopeter with only a couple of inches to spare, but neither man suffered any harm from the incident.

Hollopeter was taken to a nearby hospital; Autrey refused medical attention — and then went to work.

Autrey went by the hospital on Wednesday afternoon for a visit with Hollopeter and his family. After, he and Hollopeter’s father addressed reporters.

“Mr. Autrey’s instinctive and unselfish act saved our son’s life,’’ dad Larry Hollopeter said, his voice choking up. “There are no words to properly express our gratitude and feelings for his actions.’’

The unusual rescue with its happy ending brought the media horde to Autrey. He spent the day doing interviews, mainly at his mother’s apartment, where his sister Linda had been pressed into service as phone answerer and scheduler.

Calls came in from all over the country, offering rewards, as people found themselves inspired by Autrey’s bravery.

His mother was beaming over him.

“It was dangerous, what he done, but I’m proud of him, that God had him in the right place at the right time so he could help somebody,’’ Mary Autrey said. “That’s our upbringing, helping people.’’

I am glad that Mayor Bloomberg held this ceremony today as the man deserved it. I know he doesn’t consider himself a hero but many would not have attempted what he did. I am glad to see he got some nice gifts & cash out of it. While I’m sure he wouldn’t ask for it, this is a case where he wouldn’t be wrong to have done so. However leave it to “The Donald” to get some PR out of the deal!

Wesley Autrey, you will always be a hero!

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Farewell Lawrence Reuter

Lawrence Reuter has announced he is stepping down as NYC Transit President. Here is a story about it courtesy of New York Business:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Wednesday that New York City Transit President Lawrence Reuter is stepping down from the post he’s held for the past decade.

The MTA did not name a successor but said Mr. Reuter would stay on through early February.

Mr. Reuter is leaving to take a position with a large engineering firm in Florida, and said the opportunity “be closer to my grandchildren was too appealing to turn down.” The name of the engineering firm wasn’t immediately available.

During his tenure with NYC Transit, the 55-year-old is credited with improving customer service, implementing fare incentives and overseeing efficiency improvements for both the subway and bus fleets.

NYC Transit’s annual subway ridership increased by 31% to 1.45 billion, between 1996 and 2005, reaching the highest level since the Authority’s creation in 1953. Bus ridership grew even faster, as annual ridership increased by 53% to 736 million, among the highest levels in the past 30 years.

His tenure wasn’t entirely tarnish-free. Mr. Reuter made headlines in 2005, when the State Ethics Commission accused him of accepting $633 in improper gifts, like golf outings and circus tickets, from companies doing business with the MTA. He agreed to pay a $1,200 fine to settle the charges.

I was shocked to hear that Mr. Reuter was stepping down. Unless I missed some talk about it, I didn’t think any change would be happening at his position. The major person I expected to go was Peter Kalikow. Overall I have to commend the job Mr. Reuter did during his tenure. The MTA while still with a lot of work to do, did get some positive things done mainly because of Mr. Reuter. May his next job tenure be as successful if not more.

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A Feelgood Story

Continuing with updates on the latest transit happenings, a new baby was welcomed into the world at the Broadway Junction station last night. Here is the story courtesy of NY1

A newborn baby and mom are doing fine after a special delivery on the L subway platform last night, and they have three of the city’s finest to thank.

The 24-year-old woman went into labor shortly before 10 p.m. at the Broadway Junction station in Brooklyn. Transit police officers Bruno Valenti, Brian Higgins and Leslie Grant responded and helped deliver the baby. Sergeant Valenti is a trained EMT.

Police say the mother was already in labor when the officers got there, and the baby was delivered before the ambulance arrived.

I am glad that the delivery went without complications. I would like to take this time to congratulate the three officers on a great job. Lastly I would like to wish the mother & her new child all the best in 2007 & beyond.

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