Wednesday, June 04, 2003

  • P&W DEATH A 3-year-old Upper Darby boy was killed following an incident along the P&W last night. Brandon Davis was pronounced dead earlier today following an incident near the State Rd overpass in which he and a friend reportedly wandered unto the tracks. There was some confusion as to what exactly happened. According to KYW 3, a child reportedly told Upper Darby police that he and Davis were throwing rocks at the passing P&W trains at around 6:00pm last night, when the victim allegedly bent over to pick up a stone and was struck by an inbound train. This is where things get a little muddled. SEPTA's Minister of Dis-information Richard Maloney initially denied that it was a P&W train that struck Davis, according to the Delaware County Daily Times:

    None of our operators reported hitting anything on the tracks. None of the passengers felt anything either. We are conducting a major investigation with the Upper Darby Police, but the circumstances are very unusual in this kind of case.

    That's a far different story from what Upper Darby police are saying:

    "We responded to a call for a child struck by a train," Detective Sgt. David Madonna said. "The child was on the train tracks with a friend."

    Now, of course Maloney is paid to present a rosy picture of SEPTA's operations in general (see the way he and the rest of SEPTA's management have lost all credibility during the budget crisis), but this is getting ridiculous. Of course, I'm sure there are many in the upper levels of mis-management at 1234 Market who have some very bad memories of the Shareef Hall incident at the Cecil B Moore/Temple University station a few years ago (Cecil Bond - who amazingly is still on the SEPTA payroll even though he was AGM for Safety and Risk Management at the time - comes to mind), in which SEPTA covered up it's shoddy maintenance of its elevators. The end result was a massive lawsuit against SEPTA, resulting in a $51 million judgement (later reduced significantly on appeal).

    Why bring the Cecil B Moore incident up? Because neighbors in the area near the P&W Yard adjacent to where the accident occurred have told several media outlets about a hole in a fence near the State Rd overpass. It was through that hole in which Davis and his friend, 4-year-old Jahlil Straughn, apparently passed through to reach the P&W right-of-way. Keisha Sutton, a resident of the neighborhood, told 6 ABC:

    "(The holes have) been there a long time. People have been complaining about that big hole. Little kids will be up there playing on the tracks."

    Of course, NOW SEPTA will likely take action in order to repair the fence. That's little comfort to Brandon Davis' family, who are now preparing for their son's burial instead of his 4th birthday - which would've been next month...
  • No comments: