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32-year-old man dies after subway surfing atop New York City train

The identity of the man is still pending until family members are notified.
Sunset on Williamsburg Bridge in New York City
A view of Williamsburg Bridge during a sunset in New York City, United States on July 28, 2021.Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

A man in New York City died in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 2 after falling on the tracks while subway surfing on the Williamsburg Bridge.

The 32-year-old's death was confirmed by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information spokesperson Sergeant Edward Riley to TODAY via e-mail.

Police responded to a 911 call of an “aided male” in transit near Essex Street close to the Williamsburg Bridge around the hour of 4:35 a.m. EST. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the man "unconscious and unresponsive" on the tracks with "trauma about the body." Emergency medical services pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Upon further investigation, prior to the accident and police response, the man was seen riding on top of the southbound J train while it was in transit. After losing his footing and positioning atop the train, he fell onto the northbound tracks and was fatally struck by another oncoming train. No one else was injured.

At this time, the investigation remains ongoing. The identity of the man is still pending until family members are notified

Reports of subway surfing increased in 2019, up 15 percent from 2018. In statistics shared by MTA to The City in January 2020, in 2019, there were 461 reported incidents of people subway surfing.

“It not only puts the surfer at extreme risk, it puts our first responders at risk, it can put our employees and even our customers at risk,” Sally Librera, head of subways for New York City Transit, said. “It’s something that we want to eliminate completely.”

In November 2019, NBC New York reported that a person was found dead at a subway station in Queens, suffering injuries from a subway surfing incident. According to the NY Daily News, the victim was a 14-year-old boy who died after riding atop a the 7 Train at Queensboro Plaza.