Presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences on Feb. 21, 2008, in Washington, DC.
Subway Train-Related Fatalities in New York City: Accident versus Suicide*
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2009
© 2009 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 54, Issue 6, pages 1414–1418, November 2009
How to Cite
Lin, P. T. and Gill, J. R. (2009), Subway Train-Related Fatalities in New York City: Accident versus Suicide. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 54: 1414–1418. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01165.x
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 5 OCT 2009
- Received 11 Sept. 2008; and in revised form 12 Nov. 2008; accepted 22 Nov. 2008.
- forensic sciences;
- forensic pathology;
Abstract: We examined the characteristics of subway train-related fatalities in New York City between Jan. 1, 2003 and May 31, 2007 in order to determine which factors are useful in differentiating accident from suicide. Subway train-related deaths with homicide and undetermined manners also are included. During this period, there were 211 subway train-related fatalities. The manners of death were: suicide (n = 111), accident (n = 76), undetermined (n = 20), and homicide (n = 4). The causes of death were blunt trauma (n = 206) and electrocution (n = 5). Torso transection and extremity amputation were more frequent in suicides. Antidepressant medications were more frequently detected in suicides, whereas cocaine and ethanol were more frequent in accidents. However, autopsy findings should be weighed in the context of the entire evaluation along with other circumstantial and investigative findings. In unwitnessed deaths where additional information is unavailable or discrepant, the most appropriate manner of death usually is undetermined.