NYC BMW Has Hood Crushed By Construction Backhoe

After a fine dinner at Pinche Taqueria, my wife and I were walking down Bleeker Street (between Lafayette and Bowery) and, well… this:

BMW with backhoe crushing hood
BMW with backhoe crushing hood.

I had to stop to make sure I was seeing it right, and sure enough, the hood of the car is being smashed in by the backhoe.

Close up of backhoe resting on (aka smashing) BMW hood.
Close up of backhoe resting on (aka smashing) BMW hood.

I suppose seeing me standing there taking photos was drawing attention, because by the time I left, there was a crowd of people looking at the car, people peering out of apartment windows, lots of laughing, lots of joking, and people calling “shotgun” on who gets to post this to Reddit first.

A number of questions come to mind.  Whose car is this?  Why did the person driving the backhoe do this?  Was it intentional?  Did the BMW driver piss off the backhoe operator?  Was it stupidity?  When will the lawsuit drop and who’s going to pay for this?

Work Permit at construction site for BMW with hood crushed by backhoe.
Work Permit at construction site for BMW with hood crushed by backhoe.

Regardless of whether this makes the NYC news or not (I’m sure there will be too many stories about Honey Boo Boo or something equally stupid to show this), I’m sure the driver of the construction vehicle will be fired, but the work permits were applied for by a guy named Martin Donovan, so I guess he’ll be held ultimately responsible for footing the bill.  (Update 2: Noticed that both vehicles were parked illegally in a spot that has no parking b/t 7 am and 7 pm, Mon – Fri.  Makes the question of legal responsibility for the damage a little more muddy, doesn’t it?)

Vehicle information and more photos in the gallery:


Found this photo on Reddit of the car earlier today, before the backhoe dropped onto the hood.

The BMW, before the backhoe dropped.
The BMW, before the backhoe dropped.

An 18 Year Old High School Student Got Hit By An Express Train Today At Union Square

18 year old student struck by train at Union Square, 14th street.
18 year old student struck by train at Union Square, 14th street. (Image from:

This morning when I was rushing to CCNY for a morning World Humanities class, I saw police stringing yellow tape across the top of the stairs leading down to the 4 5 6 platform at Union Square.  I stopped for a moment and glanced down and all I could say was “shit”, and then I kept moving.  There was blood all over the platform, the area was packed with cops, and I thought I saw what looked like a few … pieces.

It was interesting, but something about the situation didn’t make me want to stop and take a picture.  Maybe it had something to do with the janitor at the top of the stairs, his bucket of water and reddish looking mop sitting next to him.  It just seemed so… surreal all of a sudden.  We all go through these train stations every day, ride the trains every day, and in a moment of carelessness, we can wind up as a stain on the floor getting mopped up by a underpaid janitor using a dirty mop.

Life is brief enough as it is, and I feel bad for the person who got hit by the train, which I later found out was an 18 year old teen on his way to school.  He’s laid up in a hospital now, in critical condition.  The area the accident took place is right at the mouth of the tunnel and the trains enter the stations moving pretty quickly, so realistically, the kid will be lucky if he only suffers brain damage.  His whole life is shot, probably because he stuck his head out to check and see if the train was coming.  Those stations are noisy and there are lots of trains passing through, so he couldn’t have known one was coming up the tunnel right when he poked his head out.  It’s still a case of bad judgment though.  A very unfortunate case.

On my way home, I walked past the same staircase, so I went down to look around.  As I did, a train pulled into the station, and the conductor leaned out and was looking at the floor, where in the image above you can see all the blood.  I wonder if he was the rear conductor on the train that struck the kid this morning?

The lesson I’m taking from this is that the train will come, whether or not we stick our heads out over the tracks to look for it.  I’ll keep doing what I normally do: stand in the center of the platform and read while waiting on the train.

Man Got Wedged Between Train and Platform at Union Square Station Last Night

Last night there was an accident in the Union Square train station that required an ambulance and firefighters to respond.

I first realized there was something going on when I was trying to board the train at a station further uptown on the same line.  An announcement was made in the station saying that the express trains would all be running on local tracks in the area around Union Square.  The express trains left on the usual track, but after leaving the station they switched over the local tracks, which seemed to make the trip take a lot longer.

When the express train pulled up to the local platform in Union Square I made sure to pay attention to where I was stepping.  Sure enough, there was an almost foot long gap between the side of the train car and the platform.  It seemed dangerous.

Emergency responders in Union Square station, where a man was wedged between the train and the platform.Right across from me there was a train sitting on the track in the center of Union Square station.  It was sectioned off from the rest of the station by yellow tape.  All but one of the stairs heading up to the next level were being sectioned off as well.  The area was also full of firefighters, medics, and, of course, spectators.

Emergency responders in Union Square station, where a man was wedged between the train and the platform.

I asked a couple that was standing there watching what had happened.  They told me that on the other side of the train from where we were, there’s a moving platform that closes the gap between the train car floor and the platform, for safety reasons.  It’s supposed to help prevent people from falling between the train and the platform.

Emergency responders in Union Square station, where a man was wedged between the train and the platform.

Well, somehow, a guy got ahead of himself and maybe didn’t wait for the platform to move, so he got himself wedged between the train and the platform.  He must have been stuck in there pretty good, too, because they couldn’t just retract the platform.  The firefighters I saw had hooks and crowbars to try to get him out.

After the guy had been freed from the train, emergency responders disappeared quickly.

I never saw the guy, but a few minutes after I got to the station, a firefighter told us the guy got out and he was ok.  He had remained conscious the entire time and had been talking to him.  So, everything ended well, but it was a really interesting scene, with the area packed tight with emergency responders and a whole train cordoned off.

Emergency vehicles outside Union Square station.

Emergency vehicles outside Union Square station.

New York City’s subway system is by no means new.  It’s falling apart in a lot of places and the whole thing could use a facelift.  I’m sure you could tell that from the photos.