SUNNYSIDE, Queens (WABC) — For the second time in as many weeks, the subway surfing social media trend has led to the fatal accident of yet another teen.
The latest incident occurred Thursday afternoon in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens, where a 14-year-old boy fell off a subway car and onto the tracks near the 33rd Street-Rawson Street station.
Police say he had been riding on top of a No. 7 train.
The victim, identified as Jevon Fraser, was taken to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in critical condition with severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead a few hours later.
The news comes just a week after another 14-year-old was killed while subway surfing in Brooklyn.
14-year-olds Windinson Garcia and Brian Crespo got on top of a Manhattan-bound L train at the Broadway Junction stop on June 22 and were knocked off when the train entered the tunnel before reaching the Bushwick-Aberdeen Ave stop.
Crespo was killed while his friend Garcia was badly injured.
The city is in the middle of a major push to draw attention to the deadly consequences of subway surfing.
The MTA keeps statistics on people seen riding on top of trains or in-between cars. In 2019, 490 people were seen “riding outside of trains,” according to an MTA report.
In 2020, the number dropped to 199, but then rose to 206 in 2021. Last year alone, that total exploded to a whopping 928.
According to the NYPD, as of June 23, arrests for “unsafe riding,” which includes subway surfing, more than doubled from this time last year.
This year has already seen 139 arrests, compared to just 68 in 2021.
Mayor Eric Adams has been calling on social media companies like TikTok to stop allowing videos of the dangerous stunts to be glamorized on the platform.
“Those who host and benefit financially, profit off public safety and death, must be held responsible,” Mayor Adams said.
In response to the growing concerns, TikTok issued a statement, stating “This dangerous activity predates our platform, and we strictly remove such content if we see it on TikTok.”
The MTA maintains its stance that the subways are getting safer, but notes that riding outside trains, for any reason, is a major cause for concern.
“There is no room for a human being to be on top of a train coming into a tunnel,” New York City Transit President Rich Favey said. “These are 100-year-old tunnels that we are not accommodating individuals to be on the top of. You can fall between train cars. In this instance, you’re going to hit the top of the tunnel and have catastrophic injuries and obviously in this instance we had we had a terrible death. So please, if you’re looking for some thrills, do something else because this is not thrilling. This is losing lives.”
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