Teen killed after fainting onto Queens subway tracks, fatally struck by train

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Teen fatally struck by subway in Queens after fainting onto tracks; family speaks out
A teenager was fatally struck by a subway train in Jackson Heights, Queens after suffering a medical condition on the platform. Lauren Glassberg has more.

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- A teenager was fatally struck by a train in Queens after suffering a medical condition on the platform on Tuesday.

Officials say the 18-year-old woman was standing at the Jackson Heights - Roosevelt Avenue station when she collapsed on the platform and fell onto the tracks just before 6:40 a.m.

The operator of the oncoming train saw her fall and pulled the emergency brakes, but was unable to stop in time, authorities said.

The young woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was later identified as Jessica Marleny Ajzac Guarcas.

She came to the United States two years ago from Guatemala where her parents still live. She lived with a friend in Queens and has two older sisters in the city.

They said she was on her way to work at an empanada restaurant in Manhattan at the time of the incident. They said she didn't have any known health issues.

"She was a good person, a hard worker and never had any problems," her sister Cristina Ajzac Guarcas said.

New York City Transit President Richard Davey spoke out about the tragedy.

"We lost a young New Yorker this morning in Queens, a young woman, 18 years old, who by all accounts investigators tell us had some kind of a medical episode and fell on the tracks and was struck and killed by a train today. I just wanted to start by saying our hearts and our prayers from the NYC Transit family go out to her family. By all accounts, this was just a transit accident that sadly occurred today," Davey said. "You know, any time we lose a young New Yorker, 18 years old, it's a moment that I think we all take to cherish our families and our own lives and what we are able to contribute. We are just heartbroken that that young woman lost her life today."

Police have reviewed surveillance cameras that captured the incident. Officials say no criminality is suspected.

Subway service on the E, F, and R lines was heavily disrupted Tuesday morning.

Editor's note: Authorities initially thought the victim to be much younger, but later adjusted her age. This story has been updated to reflect the newest information.

ALSO READ | NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigating assault of Sikh man on MTA bus

Police released new pictures of a suspect wanted for beating up a Sikh man on an MTA bus in Queens.


* More Queens news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.