Young couple leaps to death in front of Hollis LIRR train

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In a tragedy reminiscent of Shakespeare, two young lovers from Queens Village chose to throw themselves in front of a speeding Long Island Rail Road train rather than live without one another, according to authorities and a newspaper report.

Davon Smallwood, 25, and Ariana O’Neal, 21, were killed when they leaped from the middle of the platform at the Hollis LIRR station around 10 p.m. Monday night and were struck by a Penn Station-bound train, the MTA police said.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the train was not scheduled to stop in Hollis and was passing through the station at the maximum allowable speed of 80 mph.

There were about 125 passengers on the train.

The LIRR engineer told MTA police he spotted the two just before they jumped in front of his cab, breaking the windshield.

The engineer was taken to North Shore University Hospital and treated for cuts, the MTA said.

A suicide note left at the scene said “two great people” are going to “paradise,” according to the New York Post, which reported the young parents of a 2-year-old girl were under pressure to end their relationship from O’Neal’s mother, who disapproved of Smallwood.

“Everything will be good,” read the note, which was mostly written in “illegible gibberish,” the newspaper said.

A Facebook page shows several photos of a pregnant O’Neal alongside Smallwood at a baby shower in April 2011, followed by a shot of a newborn baby girl from May 15.

The profile said O’Neal and Smallwood were married Dec. 1, 2011.

The last post, from April 23, 2013, read, “Y dey hate u don’t like da lights in my eyes ...wat dat mean warrrrr.....”

According to the Post, O’Neal’s mother demanded her daughter never see Smallwood again after the couple were arrested in early July for allegedly stealing jewelry from a Jamaica store.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 2:42 pm, August 2, 2013
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Reader feedback

lou from whitestone says:
Dumb and Dumber could care less about the baby left behind and the train driver who had to witness there death and get injured too.
Aug. 1, 2013, 10:34 am
Lissbeth Isaac from Broklyoon says:
Diss respect
Aug. 1, 2013, 1:56 pm
Pt from Rego Park says:
Poor kid left behind- poor mta driver who will now live with that...

its called moving away from the people that make you unhappy...
Aug. 1, 2013, 6:34 pm
Unknown from nonya!! says:
You idiots don't know their story, the child was taken by the father and he made sure she didn't know his or her child's location. Let the first person speak who has NO ISSUES AND IS PERFECT YOU JUDGMENTAL BASTARDS!
Aug. 3, 2013, 5:42 pm
Aug. 4, 2013, 11:58 pm
JUDGE NOT from Long Island says:
For God so love the WORLD that HE FORGAVE his only begotten son. People You need to Pray for others,No matter
What. May GOD be with ALL...
Aug. 5, 2013, 11:31 am
Rick says:
This is the way these two will be remembered.. their last act on earth as two incredibly selfish people. Their actions affected the child and the train motorman.
Aug. 8, 2013, 6:35 am
Elora from LI says:
The engineer was badly shaken and cut by the broken glass and covered in blood. One can only imagine how traumatized he was... Terribly sad and selfish way to deal with their problems! Pray that the child they left behind will be cared for and loved.
Aug. 8, 2013, 7:48 pm
sharri from queens says:
they should of turned it over to jesus only God can fight our battles.
Jan. 22, 2014, 9:48 pm
Herbert from BX says:
You don't understand I knew who she was and nobody will understand that she was on really heavy drugs and it's sad because she used to date my stepbrother. But she will be missed dearly
June 25, 2016, 1:11 am
atamis says:
I don't have to imagine how traumatized the train driver was. He hardly smiles anymore and has small kids of his own. They ruined two families with their selfishness. What right did they have to die while leaving another human being who was so happy to live with such a sick memory. They took away a happy father and left a shell shocked one. I hope he smiles again one day. A real smile. Not the one that struggles to be okay.
Oct. 18, 2016, 10:40 pm

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