Every subway rider’s nightmare has once again come true: 61-year-old Wai Kuen Kwok was killed by an oncoming D train after being pushed onto the tracks on Sunday morning. While surveillance footage of the incident hasn’t yet been released, the NYPD told reporters that Kwok “had not fallen on the tracks by accident or jumped into the path of the train” at the Bronx’s East 167th Street station.
The train’s operator saw him “fly” off the platform but was unable to stop in time to save him. “The guy was still in the air when he hit him,” said a New York Daily News source, horrifyingly. The victim’s wife, who was standing nearby when her husband died, was taken to a hospital unharmed. The couple had been on their way to Manhattan’s Chinatown to have breakfast and do some grocery shopping.
It’s not clear what led to the push, though one witness told the New York Times that he’d heard two men fighting just before it happened. The police are now searching for the attacker, who is believed to have fled via the Bx35 bus. The Daily News reports that he was wearing a dark-colored puffy coat, which isn’t exactly a lot to go on. The New York Post reports that a camera caught the suspect getting off the bus and entering a bodega a few blocks away. The bodega’s employees and the bus driver are being interviewed, so there should be a better description of the person who did this soon.
Kwok’s son told the Post that his father was an employee of a kitchen-accessories factory, where he worked six days a week. “He provided for his family. He wanted us to be successful. His plan was to work and get his sons through school, then he would return to Hong Kong and enjoy himself,” he said.
This is the first time someone has died after being pushed onto the subway tracks since 2012, when it happened twice in one month. More recently, a 72-year-old man avoided the same fate thanks to his fellow commuters, who managed to pull him back onto the platform before the train arrived.
This post has been updated throughout.