A 23-year-old MTA worker lost his life while working on Tuesday morning as a result of a fall while picking up debris. The man was working a the 125th and Lexington subway station in East Harlem.
The president for the Transit Authority, Andy Byford, identified the deceased worker as St. Clair Zaire Richards-Stephens and said that Richards-Stephens had been an employee of MTA for six months.
Byford explained that emergency workers worked diligently to save Richards-Stephens but despite their efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries about an hour after the fall. Byford went on to say that his and MTA’s first thoughts were of Richards-Stephens and his family.
President Tony Utano, of TWU local 100, says that incidents such as this perfectly demonstrates the dedication that is demonstrated by employees of MTA. Utano expressed his condolences for the loss of life and the grieving family and said the tragedy is one felt by the “entire city.”
Utano paints the picture of Richards-Stephens’ last moments by pointing out that while most in the city were asleep, that a young man was performing his job duties in a tunnel beneath the borough of Manhattan so that other citizens of the city can travel to school and work. Utano said that an investigation will soon be underway and that the intent of TWU local 100 is to determine the exact cause of the tragedy and give the family the closure it needs.
The tragedy caused massive delays during the most inopportune time of the day. Commuters were told to expect serious delays on a number of lines early Tuesday morning. The Metro Transit Authority put 50 additional buses in service on Tuesday to help alleviate the resulting commuter congestion.
MTA said that it would not speak on the cause of the deadly accident until an investigation is completed and the full results of that investigation are revealed.
The details as Byford understands them to be at this time is that Richards-Stephens was working on a part of the track that had an upper and lower level. Co-workers of Richards-Stephens heard a scream moments before discovering the young man to be lying face down on the lower level of the tracks.