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.
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.
- 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).
- 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.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.