What to Know
- A piece of debris crashed onto a car from an elevated subway track in Queens, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tweeted
- The incident happened less than a month after a beam fell from the tracks and pierced a car windshield, narrowly missing the driver
- The vehicle was "occupied and moving" when the debris fell, Van Bramer tweeted, adding that no one was injured
A piece of debris crashed onto a car from an elevated subway track in Queens — less than a month after a beam fell from the tracks and pierced a car windshield, narrowly missing the driver, a local politician said.
The debris fell from the 7 train tracks at Roosevelt Avenue and 62nd Street in Woodside, a busy hub that's also a LIRR station.
“For the second time in two weeks a piece of debris has come crashing down on a vehicle Below tracks on Roosevelt Ave., this time at 62nd street,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tweeted Wednesday, adding that the car was “occupied and moving.”
MTA crews were on the scene, sweeping up remnants of the latest piece of debris to come crashing down.
"This is obviously very concerning and we’re glad that no one was hurt," said MTA spokesman Shams Tarek. "We take the safety of our customers, employees and neighbors very seriously – what this material is and where it came from is under investigation."
People who live and work nearby were shaken up.
"I come through here every day," said Steven Mieses of Woodside. "A lot of people travel through here. I don't want nobody to get hurt."
What the hell is going on here?! For the second time in two weeks a piece of debris has come crashing down on a vehicle Below tracks on Roosevelt Ave., this time at 62nd street. The car was occupied and moving. No one injured but someone is going to get killed here @MTA! pic.twitter.com/WuoEU0XDfB— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) March 6, 2019
MTA officials said they're investigating the possibility that a truck hit the elevated track nearby on Tuesday, breaking a piece of metal loose. No construction was being done at that location on Wednesday.
Toward the end of February, a beam from the same track crashed through the windshield of a moving car near Roosevelt Avenue and 65th Street in Woodside.
The driver wasn’t injured, but a witness said he was “shaking” and “shocked” after the incident.
Van Bramer called it a "crisis," telling News 4 New York, "You cannot have two incidents in two weeks and not believe it's an emergency."
"At a bare minimum, you would think they would erect netting to protect pedestrians and cyclists and motorists down below on Roosevelt," he said.
The MTA at the time of the first incident said it was “conducting a full investigation into what happened.” The agency completed a systemwide inspection of all elevated track on Feb. 28 and found it to be safe. Additionally, the MTA said, all tracks are inspected on a weekly basis by personnel on foot.
Van Bramer said even though the city doesn't have much regulatory authority, he might ask for council hearings on what the MTA knew and when.
News 4 checked out the track above Roosevelt Avenue using Google Street View and found the spot where the wood came down; there's been alarming signs of trouble going back there for years. In 2012, there were dozens of pieces of wood hanging over the street. By 2018, more than half of it was gone, removed by someone, or possibly fallen into the street. And there was yellow tape apparently marking a problem spot.
"If the MTA doesn't fix this, some debris will either hit some kid in the head or devastate somebody, and potentially kill them," said Van Bramer.
The MTA says it's intenstifying inspections since the February incident.