Tragic Incident Claims Life of MTA Worker at Herald Square Station

An MTA track worker passed away in a subway train accident in Midtown overnight, just a month before his one-year anniversary with the agency.

Hilarion Joseph, 57, was part of a cleaning crew near the 34 St-Herald Square station around 12:15 a.m. He came into contact with a slow-moving northbound D train, traveling at about 10 mph during scheduled maintenance, resulting in his death. Joseph was a flagger responsible for alerting oncoming trains to track work.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital and pronounced dead.

To the MTA, Joseph was a track worker, but to his family, he meant everything. His daughter, Jewel Joseph, expressed, “He was my world. I’d tell him anything, and he helped with everything.

He was everything to everybody.” The family is still unsure about the details of the incident, with Joseph’s sister, Angela Joseph, questioning what went wrong.

NYC Transit President Rich Davey stated that the incident is under investigation, and although there are cameras at the station, it’s unclear if they will provide relevant footage.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber expressed condolences, mentioning that the incident is being investigated to determine what went wrong.

Scheduled transit work, except for emergencies, has been suspended for the next 24 hours. Davey mentioned plans to refresh and retrain employees on track safety protocols.

The inherent risks of working on live train tracks were emphasized by TWU Safety Director John Chiarello, who highlighted the dangerous nature of such jobs.

Joseph’s family, awaiting answers, reminisced about his commitment to the job. His niece, Alexandra Phillip-Hernandez, mentioned driving back from New Jersey for family time.

Jewel Joseph shared a poignant memory of her father whispering to her grandmother about getting the MTA job just before her passing on December 1 the previous year. Despite the tragedy, the family plans to continue their tradition of feeding the homeless on that day, as Joseph leaves behind six children aged 5 to 31.


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