Commuter tales: New babies, drunk drivers
The incidents seem extraordinary: a woman giving birth on a commuter train in New York and an SUV barreling down an underground rail track in San Francisco. But transit officials say it’s all in a day’s work; they’ve seen it before.
So when Rabita Sarkar went into labor in January on a PATH commuter train to New York, transit officials sprang into action, according to the AP. PATH officials turned the train into an express, bypassing most stops so it could get to its final stop quicker. That’s where emergency services personnel met the train and whisked Sarkar and her husband to the hospital.
The incident began when the couple decided to take the train from suburban Harrison, N.J., after Sarkar started feeling contraction pains. They figured they would catch a taxi from the train station to the hospital in Manhattan. But the baby had other plans.
It’s not the first time transit staff have helped a woman in labor. “Responding police officers said it wasn’t unusual for women to give birth in facilities run by the Port Authority,” according to AP.
Then there’s the incident in San Francisco. When a suspected drunken driver drove his SUV into a tunnel of the San Francisco rail system in January, it was another case of déjà vu for city transit officials. The same thing happened in the same tunnel a couple of years ago, according to USA Today.
The latest incident started during the morning rush hour when the man, who had been following a train above ground, passed it and drove his SUV into the tunnel, traveling about a half-mile before hitting a concrete step. The vehicle blocked the train tracks, and passengers had to be transported by shuttle buses.
“The tunnel appears to be a drunk magnet,” according to USA Today. In October 2010, another drunk driver plowed into the tunnel, though he didn’t get as far.