An accidental subway death cast a pall over late night New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square after a young woman stumbled onto a track and was fatally struck by a 2 train in Times Square.
Police have not released many details about the woman’s identity or the circumstances surrounding her death, but the basic facts of the incident have been reported.
According to the Washington Post, subway deaths are a common circumstance in the boroughs of New York City, with one death a week on average occurring within the system. (A recent set of murders involving a rider who pushed a fellow straphanger in front of an oncoming train have caused a bit of a panic about subway push deaths, but such violent deaths at random are rarer.)
USAToday indicates that the young woman’s death, which occurred early in the morning on January 1, was accidental in nature and close to the festivities of the ball drop for New Year’s celebrations:
“The accident happened at around 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day at the No. 2 line station on 34th Street and Seventh Avenue. That’s one stop from where revelers gather in Times Square to see the ball drop.”
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly addressed the circumstance of riders falling or being pushed on the tracks, saying that investigations are slightly impeded due to the unexpected shock that occurs when a subway rider is shoved or falls into the path of a train:
“I think it’s not unlike a car accident where people pay attention to it after it happens … The witnesses we spoke to were not focused on what happened before the confrontation.”
In the wake of the high-profile killings of Queens men Ki-Suck Han and Sunando Sen in separate subway push incidents, legislators have renewed a push for safety measures such as sliding doors on subway platforms to decrease deaths of that nature.
The victim of Tuesday’s accident was said to be in her early twenties, and her name has not been released by police.