Marvin Franklin: Second MTA Worker Killed in Five Days

G Subway TrainA second and third MTA construction worker were struck by a train yesterday. Mavin Franklin, 55, was struck and killed after being dragged by the train. Jeffrey Hill, 41, was also struck by the train, but was pulled out alive. Hill is listed in stable condition.

This second death in 5 days promted an emergency suspension of all nonessential construction work in the system.

Franklin and Hill were allegedly sent to retrieve a dolly of some sort. The two men decided to take a shortcut across the active tracks instead of walking the long way around. The men would have had to carry the dolly up onto the platform, up a flight of stairs to the mezzanine level, across to the other side, then back down another flight of stairs to reach the opposite platform. Basically, they would have had to walk the route a typical straphanger does when they accidentally miss their stop and need to catch a train back in the other direction.

Since the men were already working down on the tracks, they figured they would just take the quick shortcut across the tracks instead of going up and over.

Unfortunately, there was an active line in their path. A “G” train came through the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, and struck the men. The train operator saw the men, but it was too late to hit the brakes.

Since the “G” line was live that night, there were no construction signal lights on the tracks telling the operator to stop or slow down. Basically, all signs point to they should not have been there in the first place.

This second death came on the day of Danielle Boggs funeral service. Boggs was killed last week at Columbus Circle while he and a partner were setting up construction warning lights.

13 thoughts on “Marvin Franklin: Second MTA Worker Killed in Five Days

  1. I find it troubling that you believe these men took it upon themselves to cross live tracks. As a trackman for over nineteen years I can tell you we are always crossing live tracks daily. Going to and from our jobs requires it. I personaly knew Danny Boggs and occassionaly worked with Marvin Franklin, they were both good men and safety consious. Track work is and always will be dangerous work. Please wait for the results of the investigation before assigning blame to these fine men.

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  2. You Write: “Since the men were already working down on the tracks, they figured they would just take the quick shortcut across the tracks instead of going up and over” Mr. Hill who was the other trackworker struck by the train said “we were orderd” I don’t believe you intentionaly ment to BLAME them but those are damning words.

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  3. Well, let’s look at the facts.

    The safe way would be to go up and over.

    The less safe way would be to cross the live tracks.

    So they chose the “quick shortcut.” And even if they were ordered doesn’t mean they had to if they thought it was dangerous.

    Anyway, no on is “blaming” them, but they are no longer here because of some unfortunate choices.

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  4. I find it troubling that you put the blame on the workers. I am Mr. Franklin’s stepdaughter and if you knew anything you would get the facts straight and not believe everything the media spews at you. Mr. Hill came to my stepfather’s funeral and gave a very detailed account of what happened and by his account, they were following the instructions of their supervisor. This man has been part of my life for over 25 years and a transit worker for 22 years. He didn’t not take safety lightly. His supervisor failed to flag for him and his coworker. So, yes, it is an unfortunate tragedy but a tragedy that could have been avoided if his supervisor alerted them that #1 the track was active and #2 flagged the oncoming train that there were workers down there.

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  5. Kristen, I will always remember your father as a kind, quiet and gentle man. We last spoke about a month ago, his gang was assigned to a work train that I was the crane operator on. My condolences to you and your family. I am sorry you had to hear Mr. Hills detailed account, I know it disturbed me, and I’m used to that sort of talk. We will all miss Marvin and Danny but they will not be forgotten. At least they will have each other for company.

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  6. Kristen-

    So sorry for your loss.

    I just want to reiterate that no one is BLAMING anyone.

    Also, if you or Tom would like to submit an article from your perspective, I would be happy to publish it as it’s own article. Up to you. I have your email addresses from the comments, so if you are interested, I will email you off line directly.

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  7. This is a very sad situation. With today’s technology there should be a way for workers to know that there is a train in the area. I heard that other transit agencies are trying a device called a ProTracker, which detects trains and alerts the works with some sort of clip on device. I did a search and found it at http://www.protran1.com.

    Anything to save a life.

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  8. Thank you SUBWAYblogger for the offer but I’ll let Roger Tousaint handle the public relations. Larry, thank you for the suggestion about protrans product. I went to thier website and looked at the specifications. This device would work well in some situations but as you know New York City Transit is like no other system in the world. Some of the problems I forsee are: trains can run on as many as four tracks at the same time. This could cause confusion as to where to clear up. It also works on a radio frequency. Radios are line of sight unless you have repeaters. With all the curves this would result in dead zones. If you use repeaters we would never be able to work because the damn things would always be beeping, and dont forget many subway tunnels are multi-level. Trains run above and below us as well. Systems like Staten Island Transit could use this because they have only two tracks that are relatively tangent. As always the best protection is Flagging, when done properly it works well. Unfortunately the majority of transit workers getting clipped (thats what we call it) are setting up or removing flagging. They are unprotected while performing thier duties. Also the rules state that the first flag or lamp to be placed out must be the green, this is to ensure that the trains run on time for you folks. Then and only then can the flag person set out yellow caution lamps and then the red light and stop arm. A flagman for a track cleaning gang. The guys you see picking up trash from the tracks, walks approximately three miles of track for every four track station his gang will clean. They average three stations per night (thats why they walk so fast and pick up the debris that would most likely cause track fires). And you probably thought they were doing a shitty job.
    Radios might help us to know if the control tower is diverting a train, because of one of those sick passengers or slow trains because of the door holders. (nice segway huh!)

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