The subway motorman who ran over a Queens father with a Q train earlier this week was so traumatized by the event that he had to be taken to the hospital. "I saw the guy, and I did what I was trained to do," Legree told the News in his first interview. "You’re hopeful you’re going to stop, but you don’t have control of the train at that point."
The death of Ki-Suck Han, 58—who was pushed into the tracks after an argument—was especially upsetting to motorman Terrance Legree as it was the 21-year MTA veteran's first time hitting someone in the 14 years he has been a motorman.
Recalling the incident Legree told the paper he saw people signaling him to stop at the 49th Street station in midtown Manhattan. "I panned my eyes and saw the guy on the roadbed,” Legree said. “He was looking at the platform. He never moved." Afterwards he recalled "all kinds of emotions from 'Why is this happening?' to 'Why was that guy down there?' to 'What happened?...You try to be calm. You try to handle the situation."
One thing that didn't help? Rubberneckers with their cameras—"People were taking pictures of the poor gentleman. They didn’t want to leave." Soon after the accident Legree, who his conductor said "was getting all choked up in his voice as people were asking him what happened," was taken away to be treated for trauma. He is still recovering.
The still contractless Transit Workers Union, meanwhile, is using the incident as a reminder of their ongoing disputes with the MTA. "This is the type of unseen trauma our members go through every day operating trains and buses, and why we deserve a fair contract," TWU president John Samuelsen said of the incident. Interestingly, the horror of these incidents is one of the few things the MTA and the TWU agree on. At the beginning of contract negotiations this year both sides seemed ready to agree that employees who witnessed any kind of subway accident—even non-fatal ones—deserved mental health days.