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Grandma from Whitestone dies in accident on subway

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Maria Bacic, 60, was found underneath the train shortly before 5 p.m. last Thursday and...

By Alexander Dworkowitz

A Whitestone grandmother on her way to work was killed last week when she was struck by a No. 7 train pulling out of the Flushing Main Street station, police said.

Maria Bacic, 60, was found underneath the train shortly before 5 p.m. last Thursday and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Bacic died of blunt impact injuries to her torso and extremities, said Grace Burgess, a spokeswoman for the city Medical Examiner. Her office was still investigating the case as of press time.

Police were unsure about the exact nature of her death, saying no one actually witnessed how she came to be on the tracks.

“It’s all a mystery,” said Joann Palandro, Bacic’s next door neighbor and friend. “It’s shocking to everybody.”

Bacic, a Croatian immigrant, had lived in her Whitestone home for 18 years, neighbors said. She cleaned Manhattan office buildings for a living, they said.

Bacic was following her daily routine shortly before her death, said Joy Lazar, a neighbor.

Everyday her son-in-law, who lived a few blocks away with Bacic’s daughter, Cara, would come and pick up Bacic and drive her three miles to the Main Street station, the last stop on the No. 7 train, Lazar said.

Last Thursday Bacic’s two granddaughters came along for the ride to the station, Lazar said.

“Her grandchildren were constantly coming over,” Lazar said. “Her grandchildren were her life.”

Lazar had spoken with Bacic just before she headed to work.

“When she left that day, she was happy as can be,” Lazar said. “That’s why nobody around here can believe it.”

Lazar said Bacic was planning to spend the summer with her husband, a retired cab driver, at their home in Croatia. He was in Croatia fixing up the house at the time of the accident and rushed back to the country when he heard the news, Lazar said.

Bacic was also friendly with the Badalamenti household in Whitestone.

“She was very close to us,” said Vincent Badalamenti, Palandro’s father. “She would say, ‘If you need something, let us know.’ I can’t believe she’s dead.”

Badalamenti said he would often talk with Bacic as she tended to her garden in her backyard.

Badalamenti’s wife, Giacoma, was teary-eyed as she spoke of her neighbor.

“I miss her,” she said. “I miss her a lot.”

Members of Bacic’s family could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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