NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Friends were in shock Monday, a day after a 13-year-old girl from Queens was killed by a subway train as she tried to retrieve a dropped cellphone.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, Dina Kadribasic died after lowering herself to the tracks beneath Queens Boulevard on the R Train, at the 63rd Drive-Rego Park stop, in pursuit of her dropped phone.
Dina had been on her way to the mall to meet a friend Sunday afternoon when she made the fatal mistake – the train catching her as she was trying to scramble back up.
Two of her friends were on the platform the day after trying to make sense of it.
“I don’t believe it. Like I found out last night,” said Sophia Alvarez, a friend of Dina’s. “I was crying like so much. I was telling my family. I still don’t believe it. It don’t know – like, it feels weird that she’s like gone now.”
“She had a smile that could light up the whole place,” said Dina’s friend Jayana Harris. “It was amazing; she was an amazing person.”
Human nature being what it is, one can see how it could happen. The cell phone is in sight on the tracks, just out of reach, and the temptation to jump down and retrieve it quickly is likely very powerful.
The stakes, though, are impossibly high.
“We never want anybody to lean over, look at, get near, or climb down on the tracks under any circumstance,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority Communications Director Beth DeFalco. “I cannot underscore how dangerous it is, and deadly.”
In the case on Sunday, Dina was hit and squeezed into the narrow gap between the platform and the moving train. Bystanders pushed against the side of the train to free her pinned body.
The MTA said it has five teams of employees who do nothing but retrieve items dropped down onto the tracks with a pole-mounted device. But even they try not to go down onto the tracks.
A dropped cellphone should be reported to the station agent or an emergency call box.
Dina’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.
The MTA retrieves hundreds of items per month from the tracks. The roving teams were set up 10 years ago.