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Dick Quickwood

"haha, what a dumbass"

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14-Year-Old Killed in Stunt Atop a Subway Train



Published: October 21, 2003



14-year-old Harlem boy trying to impress his friends by climbing on top of a moving subway train was killed yesterday afternoon when he hit a steel girder, fell on the tracks and was struck by another train between the West Fourth Street and 14th Street stations.


The boy, Eric Alvarez, performed his deadly stunt in clear view of his friends on the train, who watched him climb to the roof of the car. At least one friend tried desperately to save him by clinging to his foot as he fell toward the tracks.


"I got ahold of his sneaker but it was so dirty," said Indee Sparrow, 15, who made a futile attempt to hold on to Eric. "It was all slippery and I couldn't hold on, and he lost his balance and fell down."


"He was trying to act cool and prove a point," she said. "Oh my God, why couldn't I save him?"


"He was just saying, `Help me, help me,' and I tried to help but I couldn't get a grip on him," she said. "I'm so sorry I couldn't get a hold."


The death yesterday was the latest example of a reckless form of thrill-seeking called subway surfing that resulted in several deaths and injuries in the 1980's and 90's. Most commonly, subway surfers have been young men riding atop subway cars on elevated tracks outdoors.


According to the police and several witnesses, Eric, who friends say was a freshman at Chelsea Vocational High School, decided to impress a group of friends on a northbound C train at 4:45 p.m. as it was leaving West Fourth Street.


"He decides to subway surf, he's climbing up and gets whacked by a girder beam and then he goes down and falls between cars," said one police official.


Outside the 14th Street station, tears streaming down his face a classmate said he was part of a group of about a dozen students who had entered the subway with Eric.


"He told us he was going and we heard this thud," said the young man, who declined to be identified.


"We thought he had just climbed on top and that was the noise," he said. "We didn't know at first he had fallen. We didn't know he died."


Marisa Balde, a spokeswoman for New York City Transit, said Eric's companions did not notify subway employees that he had fallen on the tracks until the train had stopped at 14th Street.


By that time, she said, Eric had been struck by a northbound E train that was behind the C train.


The students "were just too late" in contacting subway employees, Ms. Balde said. Although it was unclear at what point Eric sustained his fatal injuries, she said transit employees could have radioed in immediately as soon as they learned someone was on the tracks, and the E train could have been stopped before it left West Fourth Street.


The accident caused major disruptions for commuters using the subway during the height of late afternoon congestion yesterday. Passengers on the E train that struck Eric, which stopped in the tunnel before reaching the next station, were evacuated through an emergency exit.


Before service was restored about 7 p.m., all northbound trains on the Eighth Avenue line were diverted to the line used by F and V trains.


As word of the accident spread, dozens of students from Chelsea Vocational High School converged on the 14th Street station, where people were being evacuated.


They were ordered away by the police, who herded the group of students a block east to the Seventh Avenue subway station in hopes that they would disperse. Along the way, the students bought candles in a deli and lit them as they walked, carrying them back down into the subway, where they were joined by a trumpet performer who provided a rendition of "Amazing Grace" in honor of their friend.


Carlos Diaz, a senior at Chelsea Vocational High School who was in the group with Eric, said reckless behavior like subway surfing was unusual for him. "It's the first time he tried to do something like that," he said. "He wasn't into stuff like that. He liked basketball and football. He did all his school work. He was a good friend to everybody."


Eric lived with his mother and paternal grandmother in a fourth-floor apartment at 59 Morningside Avenue. Other family members and neighbors said last night that Eric's father was incarcerated, but it was unclear for how long or for what offense.


The boy's uncle, Tyrone Alvarez, who lives in the same building, said he was shocked that Eric would do anything so foolhardy as subway surfing.


"It was probably peer pressure," Mr. Alvarez said. "This is not something Eric would do on his own, but kids will be kids."


Although Eric gained access to the roof by going through a subway car door, many cars in the fleet have doors that stay locked.


Ms. Balde said subway cars that are 75 feet long — the longest in the fleet — have locked doors because of the tight angles they negotiate going around corners. Shorter cars — those that measure 51 feet or 60 feet — have doors that are left unlocked, enabling more efficient evacuation in case of emergency, she said.


Cars used in the C and E lines are 60 feet long, she said.





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Guest Mike bibby

why dont you tell his mother "haha, what a dumbass"

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Originally posted by Mike bibby

why dont you tell his mother "haha, what a dumbass"


if you're trying to make some kind of stupid point, you'll need to be more direct about it

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Fuck trying to be cool. We should all the moral of this story...you can never be cool. Lets all stop trying and go spank our monkeys as we remain uncool.


In retrospect...that sucks to this kid's family because they will forever have to think about morals and how they raised him. At least that's how I'd feel if my kid did that. Then again, they say you can't teach common sense...

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Arcel have you ever done anything life risking when you where young? (ER).... Sure tha kid was stupid, i wont take that from you, but easy on him man, hes dead. His family and freinds gotta live with that shit.

I can breakdown a dumbass kid ( the after school special) Kid gets drunk hates his girl freind and school, and blows his brains out. End of story. To me Subway surfing sounds like, fun, granted Id never try it. Hell even Cope was sayin in his video he used to skyline on moving subways to hide from pigs.

I dont know I jus gotta hard time laughing at this vato...

Peace and Respect:

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