63-Year-Old Man Struck & Killed By 2 Train At 72nd Street; 4th Person Hit By UWS Train In Three Weeks

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Photo: Michael Huitt / michaelhuittphoto.com

I’ve been traveling since last week and am catching up on news, so you may have heard about this already.

A 63-year-old man was struck and killed by a downtown 2 train at the 72nd Street subway station early Sunday morning.

DNAinfo filed the initial report on Sunday, but they didn’t have many details, including the status of the person hit. Yesterday, The Post reported the following:

A man with a history of mental illness and drug abuse apparently fell onto the tracks and was fatally struck by a train at an Upper West Side subway station early yesterday, authorities said.

Michael Silverman, 63, of Gramercy, was hit by a downtown No. 2 at the 72nd Street and Broadway stop at about 2:35 a.m., cops said. He died at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Silverman is the third person to be struck by a train at 72nd Street in the past three weeks.

On February 29th, two men were struck by trains in unrelated incidents nearly four hours apart.

62-year-old Hector Saint Hilaire was killed after experiencing dizziness and falling on the tracks. His death had originally been reported as a suicide.

Later that same day, an unidentified 33-year-old was seriously injured after being struck by a train. Witnesses reported he may have been intoxicated.

Just a couple of days later, a reader reported a third person had been hit by a train at Columbus Circle on 3/1, though I was never able to find additional details.

Not that it makes the situation any better, but it appears as though the three incidents at 72nd are just a bizarre and unfortunate coincidences, rather than a safety issue with the specific station.

Of the three men who were hit: one was ill/dizzy and fainted in the wrong place/wrong time, one was apparently drunk or high, and the most recent had a “a history of mental illness and drug abuse” — so his accident could have been related to any number of things.

That said, many subway stations around the world, particularly in Asia, have barriers separating the platform from the tracks. Trains pull up to designated spots and the barriers open only where the doors to the train are located.

NYC should absolutely have this, but it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars (possibly into the billions, knowing how inefficient MTA spending projects are) to retrofit the whole system, which is undoubtedly affecting its implementation.

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