Tourist Who Survived Horrific New York Subway Accident After Driver Spots Pink Top Plans To Sue
A woman who lost both her legs after being run over by a subway train, before being spotted 20 minutes later when the driver of a second train saw her bright pink top, now plans to sue for negligence.
Visaya Hoffie, 23, from Brisbane, was visiting a friend in New York City when she tripped and fell onto the subway tracks at New York’s 14th Street station at around 4am on January 11.
Visaya has now filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court against the Port Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the city, saying a series of safety measures failed to come into effect leading up to the accident.
Visaya had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee after being hit by a seven-car train in the early hours of the morning. She also suffered multiple head wounds, a C2 vertebral fracture, a sheared vertebral artery and a skull depression.
The 23-year-old, who is an aspiring artist, reportedly lay unconscious on the tracks for around 20 minutes before another P.A.T.H. train came along. It was the driver of this train who noticed her due to ‘the bright pink colour of her top’.
Although it was previously assumed the driver of the second train stopped in time and avoided hitting her because of this, an affidavit accompanying Visaya’s petition disputes this.
She wrote, as per the New York Post:
After the first train left the station after running me over, I was left on the tracks for another considerable period of time… until a second P.A.T.H. train came along and hit me again.
Her court papers say the station was well lit, adding that where she fell was far enough away from the tunnel entrance for a driver to see her – especially considering her bright pink top.
She also alleges that sensors on the first train, which were supposed to detect objects on the tracks, weren’t working. If they had been working, Visaya says she ‘would have been discovered and spared some if not much of the trauma [she] ultimately endured’.
The affidavit claims the fact she was left for so long on the tracks ‘is clear evidence of negligence’ by the Port Authority, which should have had someone monitoring and patrolling the station.
Visaya is now ‘expected to remain confined to the hospital for the foreseeable future’, according to the court papers.
The aspiring artist is seeking video footage, photos of the scene of the accident, investigation reports and witness statements to help build her case.
Her lawyer, Jesse Minc, said they are going to ‘vigorously pursue’ claims against anybody they find ‘bears any responsibility for this horrible tragedy’.
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