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MTA employee killed on tracks at 34th Street-Herald Square station during scheduled work

MTA worker struck and killed by D train at 34th Street-Herald Square station
MTA worker struck and killed by D train at 34th Street-Herald Square station 02:09

NEW YORK -- An MTA worker was killed on the subway tracks at the 34th Street-Herald Square station early Wednesday morning.

CBS New York spoke with that man's heartbroken family and got an update from the union.

Hilarion Joseph, 57, was just days away from celebrating his one-year anniversary with the MTA.

"My dad was a great man, a great man he loved working for the MTA," said his daughter, Jewel.

She said it was one of the last things he told his mother last year.

"Right before she died, he whispered in her ear, 'Mommy, I got the job ... Mommy, I got the job,'" Jewel said.

Joseph was an Army veteran and father of six. His daughter also said he was religious.

"Before he left for work last night he prayed. He prayed with my aunt. They prayed," Jewel said.

However, during his shift as a track worker, Joseph was struck and killed by a D train.

"He was supposed to come home this morning and he didn't," Jewel said. "He didn't deserve this."

Transport Workers Union Local 100 said Joseph was part of a crew doing track cleaning. He was flagging.

"We put out lights and safety mechanisms to stop trains, to show train operators that there's a work gang ahead and that was part of the process he was on," said John Chiarello, director of safety for TWU Local 100.

An investigation is underway to determine exactly what happened.

"With moving trains, they don't stop service for us. There's no shutdowns. We work under continuous traffic. We're in danger at all times," Chiarello said.

The union said the train operator has worked for the MTA for about six years and has operated trains for a year.

"She's currently distraught," Chiarello said.

Joseph's loved ones aren't sure what to do now. He was the backbone of the family.

"When we needed a shoulder to cry on, he was the person we would call," a family member said.

"He loved helping people. He always put other people before him. My dad was my best friend," Jewel added.

MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said there is currently a 24-hour safety stand-down of all New York City Transit non-essential work.

Track workers will undergo an eight-hour safety briefing.

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