QUEENS — Friends of the 13-year-old girl who was fatally struck by an R train when she went to get her phone that had fallen on the tracks have raised more than $33,000 to help her family launch an awareness campaign to prevent similar tragedies.
Dina Kadribasic jumped onto the tracks of the 63rd Drive-Rego Park station, near Queens Boulevard, on April 2 and was killed by an oncoming R train as she tried to climb back onto the platform, police said.
Two days after the teen died, her mother's friend and colleague, Lana Kurayeva, created a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $50,000.
“Our original goal was to help the family, but the family said they want to help out others instead,” said Kurayeva, who has worked with Dina’s mother at Manhattan-based Shear Bliss NYC Salon for more than a decade.
Kurayeva said the family hopes to create a campaign making people aware of the danger of being hit by trains. They also want to donate some of the money to help other families who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
"It can happen to anybody," Kurayeva said. “So we just want to raise as much as possible and then go from there to see what can be done to start the awareness campaign and help out others."
As of Friday morning, the online campaign had raised more than $33,300.
Kurayeva said their long-term goal is to look for larger solutions to prevent such incidents, like building platform screen doors between straphangers and the tracks, or installing sensors allowing trains to stop as soon as a motorman sees someone on the tracks.
"There are sensors that can stop cars," she said. "Maybe something similar could be invented for trains as well."
She said they are trying to involve the MTA and plan to reach out to various organizations and companies that could help them organize the campaign.
They hope to eventually circulate information about the potential dangers to the press and via social media.
The MTA said last year that it planned on testing doors on the platform, similar to those seen on AirTrain, that would separate people from the tracks.
MTA officials in the past have said the technology would be "prohibitively expensive."
Beth DeFalco, a spokeswoman for the agency, said that the MTA has "five teams that go out and help people retrieve lost items so that they never try and go on the tracks."
The employees themselves try to avoid going down onto the tracks and instead fetch items dropped by straphangers with a special device attached to a pole, the agency said.
Those who dropped an item onto the tracks should report it to the station agent, the MTA said.