When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have iPhones

In New York City, where guns are functionally outlawed, a child who loved one of her possessions well but not wisely is dead, her family mourning.

This is one of the most senseless and heartbreaking of all the senseless and heartbreaking deaths we have recorded in this space.

A New York teen who dropped her cellphone onto subway tracks was struck and killed by a train when she tried to retrieve it, police say.

Dina Kadribasic, 13, jumped onto the tracks shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday at the 63rd Drive-Rego Park station in Queens, about two blocks away from her home, The New York Daily News reports, citing police.

Queens is heavily Hispanic now, mostly Puerto Ricans who have been in New York for generations, but this used to be a Jewish neighborhood, where you’d see old-timers with numbers on their forearms. Kadribasic is a Balkan name, but that just as easily could be a family that’s been there since before the fall of the Habsburgs, or one that came after the 1990s implosion of Yugoslavia.

Police said Kadribasic was attempting to climb back onto the platform when an R train rolled into the station and was unable to stop in time. Emergency responders rushed her to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she died, police said.

via Subway hits, kills girl, 13, trying to get her cellphone off tracks.

There was no word on the condition of the phone. As it turns out, there is a way to get your stuff back if you drop it onto the tracks, it’s just not widely known. The New York Daily News notes, in their article on this accident:

MTA officials cautioned riders Sunday night to flag down subway staff if they drop something onto the tracks instead of trying to retrieve it themselves.

They have the equipment and knowledge to retrieve your phone, handbag, or other New York fashion accessory (Glock .40?) safely.

There’s also a better way to survive this situation (on the rails, train entering station) than just struggling futilely to pull yourself up onto a platform, if your upper body strength isn’t adequate to the job. Two, actually.

  1. Cross to the oncoming side, where a train usually isn’t coming at the same time. (This doesn’t solve the problem, exactly; but it buys you time).
  2. When you hear the train coming, run down the tracks away from it. The train will probably stop in the station, so you just have to get clear of the station. There is usually some space after the end of the platform for workers to shelter, as well.

These are counterintuitive solutions for most people and only work if you’ve thought about them in advance. Most people who have come down into trouble can only think about going back up out of trouble.

Bear these in mind, lest you ever repeat the unfortunate Ms Kadribasic’s sad accident.

10 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have iPhones

  1. John M.

    And don’t touch the third rail while you escape and evade the oncoming subway.

    -John M.

  2. James

    So,say I drop a “performance readiness bar” on the subway tracks they can get it back for me?

  3. staghounds

    There are often spaces beneath the platform, too, where it overhangs. Lay down and roll under, parallel to the tracks. They are low and you’ll get filthy. Grime is better than arterial blood and brain matter stains, especially your own.

    1. Jonathan

      How far is it from the belly of the train to the ties between the rails? Could someone lay flat on the ties and ballast, parallel with the rails, and be safe?

      1. Hognose Post author

        You can’t be sure nothing is hanging down, especially from a city subway train in the USA (they are half-ass maintained by city workers).

  4. Jonathan

    Your advice at the end reminds me of a discussion in Red Storm Rising. After hiding in a gorge with a waterfall, Lieutenant Edwards doesn’t want to climb back up to use his radio; Sergeant Smith points out he could walk down the gorge instead to get the angle he needs. They compare Air Force thinking in vertical terms and Army thinking in horizontal terms, which I always remember when I am faced with the choice of going up or out (or around). It reminds me to consider all directions and not just the one I am predisposed to.

    1. Bloke_from_ohio

      I am predisposed to think in slant ranges. But I love trigonometry…

  5. Steve M.

    If your inclined to do something stupid in retrieval of an item then you should keep the item secure so as to ensure that retrieval is not necessary. That is just a takeaway from fishing and kayaking. Good/essential equipment always gets a tether.

    Hognose said “… if you’ve thought about them in advance.”

    1. Hognose Post author

      True story: I dropped my first Nikon Action Touch (a small waterproof 35mm) from a helicopter over Mott Lake compound and reached for it, only to be hauled back aboard by a teammate. It was about 100′ straight down, and I wouldn’t have caught up with the falling camera alive. After completing the mission, the air crew took us back to what we reckoned was the same field, but we couldn’t find the camera and we only had a half hour to look (their bosses get grumpy if they don’t bring the helicopters back).

  6. Aesop

    There are kids who are raised by their parents, and there are kids who are simply fed.

    No points for guessing which methodology was in play here.

    But the good news from NYFC is that she’ll be eligible to begin voting in every general election and Democrat primary until forever, starting in 2022.

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