A subway transit worker was killed and another was seriously injured when a G train hit them at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station yesterday afternoon. It seems that Marvin Franklin, a 22-year-veteran, was fatally hit when he and 37-year-old Jeffrey Hill went to pick up a dolly on another track. The G train's operator did see the men, but could not brake in time; Franklin was dragged by the train, while Hill was hit but is now in stable condition at Bellevue. From the Daily News:
The ill-fated workers were performing maintenance jobs in the station while the busy A and C lines were shut down for major track work.
They fetched a hand truck from another track and apparently crossed the active G train tracks to avoid a lengthy detour to the station's mezzanine level, sources said. Lights that could have alerted the oncoming train to the crossing men were not set up, the sources said.
An unnamed official told the NY Times that the other way to remove the dolly "would have involved taking the dolly up the platform stairs, through the station and down another set of stairs to the opposite platform."
The NYC Transit Authority president Howard Roberts said, "Any death is unacceptable. To have two people killed in less than a week is intolerable," and suspended all "non-essential" maintenance and construction work for the next 24 hours. Interestingly enough, last Friday, the Daily News had reported that Roberts wanted to "fast-track major subway maintenance projects to limit train delays and cancellations."
Roberts, MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander and Transit Workers Union president Roger Toussaint found out about the incident when they were on their way to a wake for Daniel Boggs, the transit worker killed last week at the Columbus Circle station on April 24. Toussaint said, "The nature of this work we’re doing in the subway environment is fraught with exposure to catastrophic conditions. It’s unfortunate it takes these types of events for New Yorkers to realize what is taking place underground to keep those trains moving.”
The MTA and TWU are now working to make sure all employees understand safety issues. Back in 2002, two transit workers died in two days, prompting more safety measures (three other transit workers have died on the job between 2003 and 2006). And Franklin had a wife and son and lived in St. Albans, Queens. He was the head of his block association, and a neighbor told the Post, "It's a heartbreaking. He was the kind of guy you'd want in your neighborhood."
Photograph of transit workers at the Prospect Park station by ultraclay! on Flickr