A young Queens boy was hit and killed by an oncoming LIRR train near the Forest Hills station yesterday afternoon. Ari Kraft and his friends had been tagging signal boxes when a train headed to Huntington hit him. The police say they had been taking pictures of their work before they crossed the tracks to leave. According to the Daily News, Kraft managed to beat one train on a third track and he thought he was in the clear, but "that train had blocked Ari's view of the eastbound train on the last track."
Friend Diana Samudio who was at the scene spoke to the Post:
"We just heard the explosion of the can, and then the ambulance came," said Diana Samudio, 14. "Ari was known for his graffiti. He was really good at it."
Samudio said she often spray painted the walls with Kraft and often did large murals like "Remember 9/11" under the tag name "Corporal."
"He was a good kid. He didn't deserve this," said Samudio. "He did some nice pieces. He was talented."
Kraft lived in Rego Park and was apparently trying to head home for Sabbath dinner. A neighbor told the Daily News, "[Mother Yaffa Simantov]was very protective. He had a cell phone so she could keep in touch. She would wait outside for him to come home. He was basically a good kid. He was a little wild. . . . Hey, he was 13."
The train had been going 45 miles an hour, with the impact "scattering" the remains. LIRR service was suspended during the investigation for three hours and passengers were reportedly angry about needing to turn back to Penn Station .