2006_11_beerbottle.jpgThe lawyer representing of the family of the 18 year old girl who was killed when she fell through a Long Island Rail Road platform gap says the MTA "doesn't give a tinker's damn about drinking and intoxication on the railroad".

Earlier this week, the state's Public Transportation Safety Board issued a report saying that Natalie Smead was responsible for her death (versus saying the LIRR was responsible) because, in part, she was intoxicated and did not respond to people's attempts to help her. But the Smeads' lawyer Robert Sullivan says that the MTA hasn't been doing enough. From the Daily News:

An area resident said she saw hundreds of drunken teens streaming off trains and boozing with abandon at the hub.

"It was total chaos," Jean Grote said. "They were terribly, terribly intoxicated and had open bottles of alcohol all over the place."

Grote didn't see any police presence until after Smead was hit by the train, she said.

Drinking is permitted on LIRR and Metro-North trains, and passengers can buy alcohol at some stations. But passengers are not supposed to have open containers of alcohol that the railroad does not sell, including large bottles of hard liquor. Still, some get on trains with their own beer or other alcohol.

It's so weird that drinking is allowed on LIRR and Metro-North trains (whereas the subway's rules are more stringent), but we guess commutes can be long. The MTA police issues 37 summonses for underage drinking and open container violations this year.