15-year-old boy dies while subway surfing on J train in Brooklyn

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
15-year-old boy dies while subway surfing in Brooklyn
A 15-year-old boy was killed while subway surfing in Brooklyn.

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A 15-year-old boy was killed while subway surfing over the Williamsburg Bridge Monday evening.

Citizen App video showed emergency crews at the scene Monday evening during peak commuting time.

Police say the teen was standing on top of a northbound J train around 6:45 p.m. when he struck a pole as the train was crossing onto the bridge.

The teen then fell onto the train and was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was later identified as 15-year-old Zachery Nazario.

"This was really a terrible, tragic incident of this young man," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said. "Our team is going to do a host of things. To bring awareness, to speak with other young people, to really show how dangerous it is."

In December 2022, another 15-year-old boy died attempting the same feat. He slipped and fell onto the third rail.

New York City Transit President Richard Davey offered sharp words on the topic of subway surfing after the incident was reported back in December.

"Riding on top of subway cars is reckless, dumb and dangerous, frequently leading to tragedy for the person, family and friends," Davey had said. "We implore parents to speak with their children about what can seem like a game but obviously is not."

There was also another death in 2021.

The MTA released news numbers showing an increase in incidents of people riding outside of trains have doubled since 2019.

The NYPD and MTA say they are focusing on train lines like the J and the M that go over places like the Williamsburg Bridge because it attracts subway surfing.

The trend is being recorded and posted on social media.

The MTA is calling for social media companies to pulldown videos that encourage subway surfing.

"We've made approaches to some of the social media companies and we are going to renew it again," said Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO. "This is something nobody wants to see. A 15-year-old kid, just breaks your heart. We've got to keep pushing. Social media companies, it's not news to anybody, are not always focused on discouraging reckless behavior,"

"We cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to ride on the outside of trains," Davey said in a written statement. "We implore other families to speak with their children on the real dangers of what can seem like a thrill, but is often deadly."

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