Boy selling candy on SEPTA train killed in fall between cars

Wiki Commons

A 7-year-old boy was killed on the SEPTA Broad Street Line after he reportedly fell between two cars while attempting to sell candy to passengers.

SEPTA did not immediately comment on details surrounding the boy’s death, which occurred on a southbound Broad Street train that was near Lehigh Avenue around 6 p.m. Sunday. But Philadelphia police confirmed to the Inquirer that the boy was selling candy on the train when he died.

“An accident on the Broad Street subway has taken a precious seven-year-old from his family,” SEPTA police chief Thomas J. Nestel III tweeted after the incident. “The Transit Police are heartbroken by this horrible tragedy. As this day winds to an end, our thoughts are with the little boy’s family.”

RELATED: Teen electrocution victim was a runaway atop train for unknown reason

While details were sketchy, eyewitnesses told 6ABC Action News that the victim was with two others selling candy, his 11-year-old brother and a 26-year-old man, who was not a family member.

A witness told 6ABC that, as the boy passed between train cars, they saw him drop candy, stop to pick it up, then fall between the cars.

“He dropped all his candy all over the place inside the train, as he picked the candy up he went through the doors to go through the next train,” the witness told 6ABC. “There were people crying, people that wanted to help him, but there wasn’t much they could do besides jump down.”

The Broad Street Line was suspended for hours on Sunday evening and replaced by shuttle buses as authorities investigated the fatality.

The victim has not yet been identified.

Interior of a Broad Street Line traincar. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Staying safe on SEPTA

SEPTA train travel, while generally safe, can be deadly if proper safety precautions are not followed, and SEPTA holds regular ‘Safety Blitzes’ to remind travelers of the serious danger and fatal risk of activities such as moving between train cars. 

RELATED: Person struck, killed by SEPTA train

In February, a 35-year-old man fell and died after trying to hop onto a Market-Frankford line train at Spring Garden station. The victim reportedly had just mistakenly gotten off the train, and as it began to leave the station tried to jump between two cars, but fell under the wheels and was crushed to death.

In November 2017, a 15-year-old teenage runaway who illegally sought shelter overnight in Suburban Station and evaded authorities to hide atop a Chestnut Hill West train was fatally electrocuted overnight. The teen was hit by some 12,000 volts. His body wasn’t discovered until rush hour the following morning.

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