Subway mishap results in tragedy
Marge Karabelski wants her son's misadventure to be a warning for others.
Last Saturday evening, Tommy Karabelski was hit by a subway train at Islington station.
Out for a night with his friends, he went beyond the subway platform's yellow do-not-pass line to urinate and was hit by an oncoming train.
The 22-year-old is now in a coma at St. Michael's Hospital with two brain bleeds, eye socket and facial damage, a thinning vein in his neck, blood in his lungs and listed in serious condition.
"Kids do stupid things and he isn't out of the woods yet. We are hoping for a full recovery. If nothing else, hopefully this will stop someone else from doing the same thing," Karabelski said Thursday at the hospital with her son.
Karabelski, a warehouse worker from Detroit, was in town visiting his Toronto girlfriend to celebrate her birthday.
His mother said he had a few drinks, but was not intoxicated.
"My son had his car here, but he didn't get in and drive. He wouldn't do that," said Karabelski, who won't leave the hospital.
Medical staff say it could be up to a month before doctors can make a definitive prognosis.
Karabelski's three siblings are spending their time at the hospital, making origami cranes for him, which help pass the time and are symbols of luck.
"I just want my brother back; he is a good kid," said sister Carol Swanson.
The family was told of two nurses who were on the subway platform at the time and helped Karabelski as he was in a pool of blood.
" I wish I knew their names. I would love to thank them," Karabelski said.
Family members say they received information that the train hit Karabelski as the man was attempting to get back to the platform from the tunnel.
TTC logs show Karabelski was back on the platform leaning over it when he was struck by the subway car.
Toronto Police Const. Clint Stibbe wouldn't comment on the case as it is an open investigation.
Yellow lines on subway platforms are there for a reason and are not meant to be crossed, said TTC spokesman Brad Ross.
"As soon as you cross the yellow line there is the potential for danger. They are to protect the public, passengers. The tunnels and track levels are very dangerous and we want people to remain safe," Ross said.
Karabelski's relatives in Windsor are holding a hockey memorabilia auction to help finance the family's stay in Toronto while Tommy is in hospital.
He does have out-of-country medical insurance with his employer.