Federal investigators are probing the death of a man who was “pulled along” at the LIRR’s Lynbrook station platform by a moving train earlier this month.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson confirmed Thursday that the agency is looking into the April 5 death of a man identified by the LIRR as Lynbrook resident Karl Aarseth, 65.
“The passengers deboarded and then more passengers boarded. The conductor closed the doors and the train began to leave the station,” Knudson said. “The conductor did report seeing the individual on the platform stagger.”
Knudson said the train conductor saw the man “bump up against the train” and then be “pulled along the platform” for some distance, before coming to rest on the platform, where MTA Police later pronounced him dead.
Earlier, NTSB officials said the victim fell into the gap between the train and the platform, and onto the tracks. Knudson said Thursday afternoon he “misunderstood some of the circumstances” of the accident and received clarity from investigators on the case.
At the Noble House apartment complex where he lived, Aarseth’s Ford Mustang sports car remained parked in the garage Thursday. A neighbor who asked not to be identified described Aarseth as an athlete and car enthusiast, who was well-liked and spent much of his summers at the complex’s pool.
“He was the most wonderful guy in the building. Everybody loved him,” the neighbor said. “For him to die in an accident like that is incredible. Nobody could believe it.”
LIRR officials Thursday declined to comment on the case because of the pending NTSB investigation, but railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said, “Safety is the LIRR’s top priority, and our hearts go out to all those who knew” Aarseth.
“In order to understand what happened and how similar events might be prevented, we are fully participating in the federal investigation into this tragic accident,” Donovan said.
Anthony Simon, general chairman for the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union, which represents LIRR conductors, also said he could not comment because of the investigation.