Man charged for manslaughter after death on tracks at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station


A man has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 48-year-old shoved on the subway tracks on Oct. 17 at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station.

According to the charges, Carlos Garcia, 50, was in a physical altercation with the victim. Between 4:40 p.m. and 4:47 p.m., the defendant allegedly assaulted the victim, causing him to fall onto the subway tracks, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced on Oct. 18. A train approached the subway platform at the time of the fall, striking the victim.

Garcia is of 133rd Street in South Ozone Park, and was arraigned on Oct. 17. The defendant has been ordered to return to court on Oct. 21. If convicted, Garcia faces up to 15 years in prison.

“The subway system is a vital lifeline for the millions of New Yorkers who depend on it to get around our great city,” Queens District Attorney Katz said in a statement. “The recent spate of violence on trains and in stations is a threat not only to commuters, but to the city’s economic and social vitality. The violence must end. We must do everything we can to ensure that all New Yorkers can commute safely, and to that end we have charged the defendant and will be holding him accountable.”


Crowley Steps Down from Friends of the QNS Board

Former New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley has stepped down from her position as chairperson of the board of Friends of the QNS, a nonprofit organization that she founded to advocate for expanded commuter rail-based transit across the borough.

Crowley said her decision to step down was made in order to focus fully on her candidacy for New York State Senate District 17.

“It has been an honor to serve as the chair of Friends of the QNS,” Crowley said.

The “QNS” proposal was introduced by Crowley to improve transit within her former Council district. Specifically, the plan sought to revive the former Lower Montauk rail line, which stretches nine miles from Hunters Point in Long Island City, through central Queens neighborhoods including Middle Village, Glendale, and Ridgewood, to the Jamaica hub.

This portion of central Queens is commonly referred to as one of the City’s “transit deserts,” since no passenger rail currently serves many of these neighborhoods.

In a 2018 report from the Department of Transportation, it was confirmed that the defunct rail line could be converted to include passenger service at a fraction of the cost of other major expansion projects like Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue Subway.

The New York State Senate district seat that Crowley is currently running for would include a vast majority of the former Lower Montauk Line within its boundaries. It was recently created by state lawmakers following the 2020 Census and will include Glendale, Maspeth, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Ozone Park, and Greenpoint in Brooklyn within its boundaries.

But while Crowley is stepping down from her position as the board’s chair, she said she vows to continue to advocate not only for the QNS rail but for a greenway along the QNS line, if elected.

“Queens has been growing at a tremendous pace, especially Long Island City,” Crowley said. “For this borough to keep up with its growth, we need to provide better transit to our residents. It’s not ambitious, it’s common sense.”

This proposal to restore the former commuter rail is similar to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 14-mile IBX plan, which seeks to add a train line from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Woodside, Queens.

Both use existing, underused train rights-of-way, converting them to passenger service from strictly freight service.

Crowley also indicated that she would work to include a dedicated bike lane running parallel to QNS, because “an intolerable” number of bicycle accidents and fatalities have been occurring in recent years.

“If we want people to use alternative transportation, we want them to feel safe as they do so. A slightly revised QNS ‘rail and trail’ plan would help that goal,” Crowley said.

Denise Keehan-Smith, former chairperson of Community Board 2, will replace Crowley as the new chairperson of the Friends of QNS. Keehan-Smith promises to continue the hard work that Crowley started and will also advocate adding a bike lane to the proposal. The organization also hired a senior strategist to help assist with the group’s expanding workload.

“I shall be forever grateful to [Crowley] for serving as the founder and chair of our organization,” Thomas Mituzas, a Blissville resident and QNS board member, said. “She brought to the forefront the need for a new commuter line for the many living in the transportation desert of Queens.”

Happy connections

Dear Editor,
Happy Anniversary to R line subway service via the Montague Street Tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The original construction of this tunnel by the old Brooklyn Manhattan Rapid Transit (BMT) company cost slightly less than $10 million. To build the same tunnel today would probably cost several billion dollars. Work began on October 12, 1914.
There were 65,000 pre-COVID-19 riders from Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and other neighborhoods benefitting from a direct subway connection to Manhattan, along with communities along Broadway and Queens Boulevard in Queens.
Larry Penner
Great Neck

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