Visaya is an aspiring artist. Picture: @vissyhoffe/Instagram
Visaya is an aspiring artist. Picture: @vissyhoffe/Instagram

Aussie tourist suing after after horror subway accident

An Australian tourist who had both legs amputated last month after falling on train tracks in New York plans to sue for negligence.

According to newly filed court documents, the visitor was hit by not one but two trains.

Visaya Hoffie of Brisbane filed a petition in that Manhattan Supreme Court against the Port Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the city seeking evidence so she can eventually bring a negligence lawsuit, the New York Post reports.

Ms Hoffie, 23, tripped and fell onto the tracks at the 14th Street Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) station in Manhattan around 4am on January 11 and had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee after a seven-car train ran her over.

Visaya Hoffie had to have both her legs amputated after the accident. Picture: @vissyhoffe/Instagram
Visaya Hoffie had to have both her legs amputated after the accident. Picture: @vissyhoffe/Instagram

 

This photo was taken hours before Ms Hoffie’s’ accident, showing the pink shirt she was wearing. Picture: Pat Hoffie/Facebook
This photo was taken hours before Ms Hoffie’s’ accident, showing the pink shirt she was wearing. Picture: Pat Hoffie/Facebook

Her mum had previously said that another train then pulled into the station 20 minutes later but stopped in time after the driver saw her bright pink top - but Ms Hoffie said in her filing that the second train also hit her.

"After the first train left the station after running me over, I was left on the tracks for another considerable period of time … until a second PATH train came along and hit me again," Ms Hoffie wrote in an affidavit accompanying the petition.

She claims that a series of safety measures failed to kick in leading to the accident.

The Queenslander said the station was well lit and where she fell was far enough away from the tunnel entrance for a driver to see her - especially considering her bright clothing.

Her court papers also allege that sensors on the first train that were supposed to detect objects on the tracks weren't working.

If the sensors had, "been working I would have been discovered and spared some if not much of the trauma I ultimately endured," Ms Hoffie said in the affidavit.

 

Visaya Hoffie was visiting her best friend from Brisbane, Wayan Preston, who is studying in New York. Picture: @vissyhoffie/Instagram
Visaya Hoffie was visiting her best friend from Brisbane, Wayan Preston, who is studying in New York. Picture: @vissyhoffie/Instagram

 

A still from Wayan Preston's Instagram stories showing Visaya Hoffie in hospital in a neck brace and with stitches in her head. Picture: Instagram
A still from Wayan Preston's Instagram stories showing Visaya Hoffie in hospital in a neck brace and with stitches in her head. Picture: Instagram

 

The mere fact that she was left for so long on the tracks "is clear evidence of negligence" by the Port Authority, which should have had someone monitoring and patrolling the station, the affidavit charges.

Ms Hoffie, "having undergone several surgeries; is expected to remain confined to the hospital for the foreseeable future," the court papers state. adding that she also suffered a spinal fracture and a head injury.

She is seeking video footage, photos of the scene of the accident, investigation reports, witness statements and other records to build her case.

Ms Hoffie's lawyer, Jesse Minc, said: "We are going to vigorously pursue claims against anybody that we find bares any responsibility for this horrible tragedy."

The Port Authority declined to comment. A spokesman with the New York City Law Department said they would review the legal papers.

The MTA did not immediately return a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished with permission.


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