Suicide by subway: Man killed on New Year’s Day after laying himself on Fort Greene tracks

Suicide by subway: Man killed on New Year’s Day after laying himself on Fort Greene tracks
Photo by Alexandra Simon

A subway hit and killed a man after he lay down on tracks near a Fort Greene station in an apparent New Year’s Day suicide.

The Manhattan-bound A train was in a tunnel approaching Lafayette Avenue station when its train operator spotted the 23-year-old lying on the tracks at 3:16 am and activated the subway’s emergency brake, according to Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.

But the train could not stop in time, and police and paramedics called to the scene found the man dead when they arrived, McRorie said.

The collision left straphangers, many of whom were headed home following a night of New Year’s festivities, stranded in the tunnel for an hour and 45 minutes, according to Caribbean Life reporter Alexandra Simon, who was aboard the train when the incident occurred.

But the subway did not seem to stop abruptly when it hit the man, and some commuters did not realize what happened until 20 minutes after the fatal crash, when the conductor asked passengers to move to the last car on the train, according to Simon.

There, the conductor informed the riders about the apparent suicide after Bay News reporter Julianne McShane, who was also on the subway, asked him what happened.

McShane described the conductor as visibly shaken, but said he remained professional throughout the emergency.

“He had to keep doing his job, but he was obviously disturbed by what he’d experienced,” she said.

The straphangers packed into the train’s last car waited for another 20 or so minutes before a rescue train pulled up and they transferred onto it mid-tunnel. They then waited for another hour as the train proceeded into the Clinton-Washington Avenues station, where they finally disembarked onto the platform around 4:45 am, Simon said.

Most riders remained calm despite the ordeal’s delays, except for one man, who stalked up and down the crowded train car telling the conductor to “suck my d—,” according to McShane.

“He was annoyed, and wanted to go home, and didn’t care that someone had killed themselves,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.