While we still don’t know why Bronx resident Ralph Mercado ended up on the subway tracks at Union Square Saturday, it is miraculous that as the uptown R approached the station at 11:38 a.m., the 55-year-old was able to wedge himself into “the trench between the rails of the Broadway local.” Eyewitness Suzannah Troy described the scene to the New York Post: “I heard screaming. He was reaching out to the people reaching out to help him, but there wasn’t enough time to grab him. He went back to the middle. His head turned looking at the train. [Then] he’s right under the train! He’s right here!”
Troy also filmed the incident (below) and explained “the train was moving as slow as possible” in order to avoid injuring Mercado. The paper reports that the survivor was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. His only injury was a bruised hand. He is, however, undergoing a psychological evaluation, having told authorities he’d gone down on the tracks to save a woman who’d fallen; no one but Mercado was found. Still, NYC Transit’s track record for subway deaths is getting better. This year, there were only 52 deaths out of 145 people people struck by subway trains. For 2012, those numbers were 55 out of 141.