Yesterday, mourners gathered at a funeral for Ari Kraft, a 13 year old Rego Park boy killed by an LIRR train Friday night. Kraft had been tagging signal boxes before crossing the tracks near the Forest Hills station - to rush home for Sabbath dinner - when a train bound for Huntington hit him. Newsday reports that during the funeral, "details of Kraft's death were not discussed...There was no discussion of graffiti art, which Kraft's friends have said he excelled in. Instead, he was remembered as a computer whiz whose life was cut short."
Kraft's family says they will sue the LIRR over gaps in fencing near the railroad that allowed Kraft and his friends to pass through. Kraft family friend Mena Sofer said, "It there was no hole in the fence, [Roger Kraft's] son would be alive today. The message to the children is they should be very careful. The message to the city is they should do something."
City Council transportation committee chair John Liu says that the fencing issue is pat of a "wider" maintenance issue (does that include platform gaps?), and making the matter more complicated is that the LIRR and private properties own fencing. Newsday had photographs of the open fencing where Kraft was able to sneak through; the other night, LIRR workers were working to repair the hole. The LIRR says they board up open fencing, but asked that the public contact its hotline 718-558-8228 to report gaps.
Photographs by Newsday