A New Hampshire man clambered atop a moving Metro North railway car and died when he was electrocuted by the high-powered wires running above the train Wednesday night, NECN reported. The train was traveling from Yankee Stadium in New York to New Haven, Conn., when the incident happened between Larchmont and Mamaroneck, according to the New York Post.
The man, later identified as 24-year-old Michael Vigeant, had been coming home from a Red Sox and Yankees baseball game with his brother, according to NBC Boston.
At some point, both men, who were wearing Red Sox fan gear, tried to get to the top of the train, the Journal News reported.
“We saw them and wondered how they had gotten from one end of the train to the other so quickly,” said witness Michael Pellicci, according to the Danbury Daily Voice.
A conductor was able to get one brother back to safety. Vigeant, however, made it to the top and “(came) into contact with catenary wires,” railway officials said, according to the Connecticut Post.
Catenary wires are highly-electrified hanging wires that supply electrical power to certain trains, trolleys and streetcars.
Pellicci said he saw a “spark of light,” then saw the man’s body tumble to the ground, according to the Daily Voice. “You could see his body folded in half and one arm that was black. It was horrible,” Pellicci said, according to the paper.
“The train came to a stop, and after awhile the conductor came through looking very nervous, asking if there were any doctors or nurses on board,” witness Bob Fredericks said, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. “A woman who said she was a nurse went running past me. She was gone for about 40 minutes then came back looking pretty shaken, saying a man had climbed on top of the train and was electrocuted.”
The passengers did what they could until paramedics arrived, but Vigeant was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital.
“I give those guys credit because they worked on his brother the whole time until those paramedics came,” Pellicci said, according to the Daily Journal. “They didn’t stop. There were doctors and nurses that were volunteering their help.”
Pellicci said an official had asked what the men were doing, and the brother told the official they thought there was an “observatory” on top of the train, News 12 reported.
The train lost power for at least 40 minutes, although passengers reported being stuck on the humid, cramped train for much longer, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. The train had left shortly before 11 p.m. and did not arrive at its final station until after 3 a.m., the New York Post reported.