Yesterday, a jury awarded Alice Huang, a 21 year-old Queens resident who was hit by a subway three years ago, $28.5 million in damages from the MTA. While exiting the F train at Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, Huang had dropped a Bible that she needed for her English final at School of Visual Arts.

"As Huang, then an 18-year-old freshman, was picking up the Bible, the train moved, hit her head, and spun her around, [lawyer David] Dean said. One of Huang's legs was caught between a car and the platform...'The train started,' [witness Ricky] Ramos said. 'I saw her spinning with the train as the train was moving. Her body was spinning.'" [Newsday]
"The impact span her around and caused her to lose her balance and get one of her feet stuck between the train and the platform. The train kept rolling for several agonizing seconds - ripping flesh from Huang's leg and crushing her hip before the conductor was able to hit the emergency brake." [NY Post]
"Her leg and pelvis were crushed." [NY Daily News]

NYC Transit may appeal, as they argued that Huang was at fault for putting her head "in the path of a moving train." Huang's lawyer argued that the conductor was negligent for not checking to make sure the platform was clear for the train to move. And clearly, the jury agreed. Huang, who has had 20 operations, uses crutches, and cannot feel sensation in one leg, is depressed over the incident, testifying, "I think I look horrible. I don't have any mirrors in my room...I don't want to look at myself." Dean's lawyer added she rarely leaves the house and spends of the time online, since people can't see what she looks like.

This is the worst nightmare of any subway rider. There are incidents of people collapsing near the tracks and being crushed by the train and picking up cellphones from the tracks and being killed. Gothamist can only say you should stand away from the edge of the platform and be safe - only move towards the edge when the subway's doors have actually opened, rush hour crowd of people be damned.