Imagine driving your car down Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside and suddenly seeing a wooden plank falling off the elevated 7 line above and smashing through your windshield.
That’s the horrifying experience one driver had on Thursday afternoon — and somehow managed to walk away from the ordeal unscathed.
Police said the incident occurred at 12:28 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the area of Roosevelt Avenue and 65th Street.
According to law enforcement sources, the unidentified driver was behind the wheel of an SUV heading westbound on Roosevelt Avenue when the wooden beam fell off the 7 line superstructure above and impaled the vehicle.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer released extraordinary photos of the damage, with the wooden beam sticking out of the top of the window near the passenger side of the vehicle. If someone had been sitting there, Van Bramer indicated, chances are the passenger would have been seriously injured, or even killed, by the beam.
Miraculously, cops said, the driver was unharmed and did not require any medical assistance. Even so, Van Bramer said the frightening episode is another example of the poor state of the MTA’s infrastructure.
“Thankfully the driver was not injured, but someone could have been killed,” Van Bramer said in a statement. “There must be an immediate investigation into how something this dangerous could happen. MTA must answer for our crumbling subway infrastructure before a tragedy occurs.”
Sources familiar with the investigation said that there was no construction on the 7 line in the area where the beam fell. Service on the 7 line was not affected by the incident.
The MTA is looking into how and why the beam fell. After a preliminary observation, sources said, the MTA determined that the wood appears to have fallen “from a worker or supply platform” installed below the tracks “years ago.” The platform has been dismantled and removed, and workers are now checking the rest of the elevated 7 line structure for similar platforms; every other elevated structure will also be checked for these temporary platforms in the days to come.
“We take this incident extremely seriously, are conducting a full investigation into what happened, have personnel ensuring the rest of the area is safe, and are relieved that no one was injured,” according to an MTA spokesperson.
This story was updated on Feb. 21 at 5:35 p.m.