Young couple leaps to death in front of Hollis LIRR train

By Rich Bockmann

In a tragedy reminiscent of Shakespeare, two young lovers from Queens Village chose to throw themselves in front of a speeding Long Island Rail Road train rather than live without one another, according to authorities and a newspaper report.

Davon Smallwood, 25, and Ariana O’Neal, 21, were killed when they leaped from the middle of the platform at the Hollis LIRR station around 10 p.m. Monday night and were struck by a Penn Station-bound train, the MTA police said.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the train was not scheduled to stop in Hollis and was passing through the station at the maximum allowable speed of 80 mph.

There were about 125 passengers on the train.

The LIRR engineer told MTA police he spotted the two just before they jumped in front of his cab, breaking the windshield.

The engineer was taken to North Shore University Hospital and treated for cuts, the MTA said.

A suicide note left at the scene said “two great people” are going to “paradise,” according to the New York Post, which reported the young parents of a 2-year-old girl were under pressure to end their relationship from O’Neal’s mother, who disapproved of Smallwood.

“Everything will be good,” read the note, which was mostly written in “illegible gibberish,” the newspaper said.

A Facebook page shows several photos of a pregnant O’Neal alongside Smallwood at a baby shower in April 2011, followed by a shot of a newborn baby girl from May 15.

The profile said O’Neal and Smallwood were married Dec. 1, 2011.

The last post, from April 23, 2013, read, “Y dey hate u don’t like da lights in my eyes …wat dat mean warrrrr…..”

According to the Post, O’Neal’s mother demanded her daughter never see Smallwood again after the couple were arrested in early July for allegedly stealing jewelry from a Jamaica store.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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