NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man came dangerously close to being hurt and possibly killed when a piece of elevated subway debris came slamming into his car’s sunroof.
A smashed sunroof and shards of glass were all over the inside and outside of the Queens man’s car Tuesday morning. The top of a huge metal bolt was still poking through the top of the car.
“All of a sudden he heard a thud and also the breaking of the glass and glass shattered into the car,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.
Van Bramer says he spoke to that victim after the latest elevated subway accident. He says the man was driving underneath the Queens Plaza N & W subway platform in Long Island City around 9 a.m. That’s when the metal bolt came smashing through his sunroof.
“They weigh several pounds and when they fall from a distance of 20, 30, 40 feet, they’re projectiles. They’re really missiles coming down to the ground.”
Van Bramer told CBS2’s Marc Liverman it’s lucky the man wasn’t hurt.
This isn’t the first time this type of thing has happened. Van Bramer says there have been at least twelve incidents in Queens alone so far this year.
“The noise really scared me the most, it sounded like a bomb went off,” one resident said.
Mike Cavalluzzi says he was driving underneath the same elevated line a few years back when a piece of subway debris hit his windshield.
“The windshield was shattered, it hit so hard that a shard of glass went into my chest,” Cavalluzzi explained.
So what’s being done to stop this?
The MTA says it’s adding hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of netting underneath all elevated subway structures. Van Bramer says it’s not being done fast enough.
“We can’t keep getting lucky. If this keeps happening in Queens and the city of New York, somebody’s going to die,” the councilman warned.
As for Tuesday morning’s incident, the MTA says it’s investigating how that bolt came loose. There was no netting involved, just a bucket that was supposed to catch debris, which didn’t.
The section of track the giant bolt came from was last inspected less than a week ago.