Man Struck by Subway Train After Falling on Tracks

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on May 11, 2016

Accident Reconstruction Expert WitnessThis case takes place in New York and involves a man who was struck by a subway train and suffered severe injuries. In the late evening hours, a subway motorman was operating a standard subway train in a major metropolitan area. He was passing through a station with no intention of stopping at that particular station. The plaintiff fell onto the tracks almost two-thirds of the way through the station. The train operator noticed the plaintiff on the tracks as he entered the station. He engaged the breaks and sounded the horn, but the plaintiff was struck. According to computer systems onboard the train, it appears that the train was going more than double the maximum speed limit for that particular section of track. It is alleged that, had the train been moving at the appropriate speed, it would have had enough time to stop before impact.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you able to discuss proper protocol / what training is provided to motormen with regards to pedestrians who had fallen or are pushed onto tracks, specifically as it relates to speed?
  • 2. Have you ever served as an expert in a similar case? If so, explain.

Expert Witness Response E-009329

If the train operator had no intentions of stopping at the station he should blow his horn 2 times before entering the station at 10 to 15 MPH, and leave the station at no more than 20-25 MPH. Depending on the line of sight upon entering, he should have been able to stop the train, if the person fell towards the middle. I had this happen to me and I was able to stop. I have nearly 15 years experience as a subway train operator, and I am in charge of training procedures and safety protocols for a large portion of the city’s new subway operators.

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