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M train comes close to hitting New Jersey man

REGO PARK — An M train narrowly missed a New Jersey man who jumped onto the tracks to retrieve his bag Dec. 5, according to the MTA.

At about 2 p.m., Joseph Pientek of New Jersey dropped a bag onto the tracks at the Woodhaven Boulevard station and leapt onto the tracks. Soon afterward, the Metropolitan Avenue-bound train, driven by Crystal McCray, began pulling into the station, according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman.

McCray, who has worked for the MTA for 11 years, motioned to Pientek to hide underneath the station platform, and he crawled into the space as the train hit the brakes, she added. Three cars passed by Pientek before the train came to a halt, and then Pientek was extricated from between the cars and taken to Elmhurst Hospital.

“In some stations there is a space that just happened to be there. It doesn’t occur at every station,” the spokeswoman said. “We always tell customers to never go to the tracks to retrieve objects. It’s much harder to get back up than you think.

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