What to Know
- For the third time in a week, falling debris from elevated subway tracks has struck and damaged a car below
- On Tuesday, a driver was in her car under the A subway tracks in Queens when a 15-pound piece of metal shattered the car’s rear windshield
- A large metal bolt fell from elevated tracks in Long Island City on Oct. 22 and a driver said debris smashed through her sun roof on Oct. 25
For the third time in a week, falling debris from elevated subway tracks has struck and damaged a car below.
On Tuesday, a livery driver was in her car underneath the A subway tracks in Queens when a 15-pound piece of metal, about the size of a brick, came crashing down and shattered the car’s rear windshield.
In video obtained by NBC New York, the large piece of metal the MTA calls a D-wedge is seen coming right down onto the car as it sat in Ozone Park. The driver was shaken up but thankfully not injured after hearing what she described as Aa bomb going off.”
The passenger was not injured either, but said that “if someone was standing there it could’ve killed them, definitely.”
In a situation that is rapidly becoming all-too-coming, New York City Transit President Andy Byford apologized and was happy it wasn’t any worse.
“I’m just grateful that no one was hurt, or worse. And I’m obviously very sorry that this should have happened to someone’s property,” Byford said.
The transit boss said that this latest incident never should have happened, as the debris should have been caught by one of the baskets specifically designed for that purpose. In this case, the basket was hanging halfway off instead of being connected on all four sides, Byford said, leaving it hanging at an angle.
The MTA has ordered an inspection blitz of all protective baskets along 60 miles of elevated tracks. Byford has ordered all 325,000 baskets to be tested by hand, and is accelerating the installation of additional baskets in Manhattan and the Bronx.
In the latest incident, the baskets were installed but
“I take such incidents extremely seriously and have directed my team on an ongoing basis to take all necessary actions and expend all resources to prevent debris from falling from elevated structures,” Byford said. “We are taking aggressive action to proactively prevent debris from dislodging and to catch it if it does come loose.”
It is the third time there has been a complaint about falling debris damaging a car in the past week, and sixth time so far in 2019. A large metal bolt fell from elevated tracks in Long Island City on October 22, shattering a driver’s sunroof. Another driver on October 25 said debris smashed through her sun roof as she drove in Brooklyn, although inspectors couldn’t find any objects from the tracks.
The MTA is also testing out using netting to potentially catch debris, but that is currently just a trial program.