LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — The heartbroken mother of a 15-year-old boy killed while subway surfing on a train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge remembered her son as a “good kid,” as she urged fellow parents to be aware of the dangerous and potentially deadly trend.
Zackery Nazario “was a very nice kid. Old soul, very mature. Good kid, good kid,” grieving mom Norma Nazario told PIX11 News Tuesday night.
The teen was killed Monday evening while riding atop a Manhattan-bound J train headed over the Williamsburg Bridge, according to authorities. Nazario hit his head on a metal beam as the train crossed the span, then fell onto the tracks, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nazario’s death comes less than three months after another 15-year-old was killed while subway surfing near the Marcy Avenue station on the Brooklyn side of the bridge. It also underscores an alarming surge in subway surfing incidents. About 928 instances of people riding outside train cars were reported in 2022, more than four times the 206 tallied in 2021, according to MTA data.
Norma Nazario said that while her son had displayed an interest in trains, she had no idea that he was subway surfing. She urged parents to be aware of their kids’ activities, and also called for the MTA to consider new ways to prevent subway surfing, with the hope that no other child dies subway surfing.
“Parents need to be aware of their kids, what they do, where they go. And the MTA needs to do something: cameras, sensors,” she said. “Hopefully he will be the last.”