Household grieves opera stagehand dragged to loss of life after getting caught in NYC subway doorways


NEW YORK — The hopes and goals of a younger Metropolitan Opera stagehand disappeared instantly beneath a No. 1 prepare.

The household of Joseph Ancona, dragged to his loss of life after working to board an uptown Manhattan subway automotive following his Monday shift, was remembered as a vibrant younger man with an ever-present grin, a love of sports activities and a girlfriend of 4 years.

“He was just like the happiest-go-lucky,” his uncle Dan Coli instructed the Day by day Information on Wednesday. “They referred to as him ‘Smiles,’ ‘trigger he all the time smiled and he was all the time laughing. … He was only a candy child.”

Ancona, 20, grew up within the north Jersey suburb of Westwood, the place the sports-loving man — a slender 5-foot-6 — was an avid golfer who additionally loved taking part in baseball and basketball. The son of a union electrician, he adopted his father into the enterprise, finally touchdown his job in Manhattan.

“We’re simply heartbroken,” his aunt Maria Ancona instructed The Information from her Brooklyn residence. “We are able to’t make sense of it. His dad and mom are distraught. How do you gear up for this sort of information? I nonetheless can’t consider this occurred. Past consideration.”

Joseph Ancona was caught because the doorways shut on the final automotive of a No. 1 prepare at 4:56 p.m. Monday, police mentioned. He was killed after he tumbled to the Columbus Circle tracks. Ancona was working for the uptown prepare that ran him down whereas exiting the station, with police sources saying it remained unclear precisely how the accident occurred.

The sources mentioned investigators have been making an attempt to find out if his backpack was caught within the doorways or his foot was by some means snagged by the departing prepare.

“Everyone needs in charge someone as a result of it makes you’re feeling higher,” mentioned Coli. “It’s not going to deliver him again, it’s not going to make it any totally different. However it simply looks as if it was very preventable.”

Eyewitnesses contacted by a member of the family through Twitter urged the subway’s doorways closed shortly, with riders in a position to exit however some unable to get on board.

The sufferer labored within the Metropolitan Opera crew’s electrical building store, with a Met spokeswoman recalling he was “revered and well-liked” after becoming a member of the workers simply seven months earlier.

“I’m nonetheless in shock,” his reeling grandmother mentioned Wednesday, whereas the household launched an announcement on GoFundMe saying the younger sufferer “was beloved by so many.”

Ancona, who left behind a twin sister Gianna, commuted into town from Bergen County by taking a bus and a prepare every morning. Westwood police delivered the grim information to the household’s residence about two hours after the loss of life.

“He needed to get a home,” mentioned Coli, the brother of Ancona’s mother. “He had a girlfriend for a very long time. Actually candy woman. She goes to Penn State. Her dad and mom needed to go on the market and drive her residence and inform her.”

The GoFundMe assertion added a thanks for “prayers and condolences and … for pondering of our (us) on this troublesome time.”

NYC Transit President Richard Davey described the loss of life as “a horrible accident” and promised an investigation “will get to the trigger” of what occurred. However Coli mentioned that was chilly consolation to the mourning household.

“Life is, sadly there’s loads of heartaches,” mentioned Coli. “And you need to take each good constructive factor in life, trigger it goes that fast.”


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