Two homeless New Yorkers punched and killed in subway tunnel

Vita Edwards is often found at the 145th Street station along the 1 line. She is homeless.

This is the station where on Friday morning police arrived to find a man and woman dead in one of the tunnels after being hit by a southbound 1 train. Edwards told NY1 she knows them.

“They’ve been together a long time. That’s where they live. They go out back and they sleep over there together. And they buy their little dinner,” Edwards said. “I don’t know what’s going on. happened…they found them dead on the train tracks.”

Edwards says incidents like this scare him. With no home, she and many others are forced to seek refuge wherever they can.

“It’s not good. We don’t want to die. We don’t want to die here like this. We would like a life. I like to live. What can we do,” Edwards said.

A survey by the MTA earlier this year found 29 encampments inside the tunnels. Edwards says homeless people need better assistance beyond shelters, which many say feel more dangerous than being on the streets.

“All we do is sit here because we have nowhere to go. We’ve been asking for help for a long time,” Edwards says. “Shelter is not a help.”

It’s not just the homeless who lose their lives on the tracks. Flare-ups, medical episodes, mental health, intoxication and suicide were the reasons for about half of the incidents in January this year.

Track trespassing has increased 20% from 2019 to 2021. After learning of the two people’s deaths on Friday, runners believe more needs to be done for the homeless.

“I think it’s really upsetting that this supposedly wonderful city doesn’t care about the people who live there,” one runner said. “They literally have nowhere else to live and stay warm except on a moving train.”

The Coalition for the Homeless tweeted a statement calling on Mayor Eric Adams to focus on providing permanent housing and care for homeless New Yorkers

“This horrific tragedy underscores how dangerous it is for those without access to proper housing and for those forced to find a place to lie down in public spaces,” the statement read. “Rather than conduct inhumane political sweeps that push homeless New Yorkers out of sight and further from safety, we need the mayor to seriously consider creating a comprehensive plan to end homelessness in our city.”

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