Society

Woman Dies After Falling 40 Feet In Oculus Transit Hub

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A Kearny, New Jersey, woman fell from an escalator and died on Feb. 11 at the World Trade Center's Oculus transit hub.

Jenny Santos, 29, fell nearly 40 feet around 5:30 a.m. over an escalator railing while attempting to grab the hat her twin sister had dropped, the New York Daily News reports. She did manage to get the hat in midair before landing on the Italian marble floor in the $4.4 billion facility.

“She somehow fell over the side,” a law enforcement source said. “It’s pretty tragic.”

Jenny was a graduate of William Paterson University and worked as a physical education, health and driver's education instructor. She was also a member of the Bergen County Rowing Academy, and served as an assistant coach.

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"Just yesterday she was with us -- Jenny was coaching our winter team, training team in strength training, and you say goodbye like you normally do, expecting to see her again," Coach Clemens Reinke at the academy told WABC.

"I understand that somehow the hat flew away, that she would jump after that, that is kind of her fun-loving way of wanting to be helpful," he added. "I can't believe this went so wrong."

Police are investigating if alcohol was involved in Jenny's death, the New York Daily News reports.

Her twin sister Jessica rode with her to Bellevue Hospital, and she was given the news of her sister's passing with two Port Authority police officers by her side, sources said.

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Jessica did not sustain any injuries, but was treated for trauma and released from the hospital.

A report that Jessica playfully threw the hat before her sister's fatal fall was quashed by a police source.

Reinke told WABC that the academy plans to honor Jenny by naming a boat after her.

The Oculus transportation hub opened nearly a year ago and is used daily by more than 300,000 commuters. It provides connections between New Jersey's PATH trains and New York City's subways.

This is the first death to occur in the facility, according to the New York Daily News.

Sources: New York Daily News, WABC with The Associated Press / Photo credit: New York Daily News

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