2 Bay Area teens die while 'train surfing' on BART: Here's what parents need to know

"No social media post, no number of likes, no great footage is worth dying for."

Luz Pena Image
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
2 SF teens die while 'BART surfing': Here's what mom wants you to know
In San Francisco, two teenagers have died in the last two weeks from a popular and dangerous social media trend called "train surfing."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In San Francisco, two teenagers have died in the last two weeks doing what is known as "train surfing" a trend that is popular on social media where teens climb to the roof of moving trains.

On Sunday, a 15 year old boy was found on the tracks between the Balboa Park and Daly City Bart Stations.

On January 29, 19 year old, Daniel Baran died in the same area.

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On the phone his mom, Marina Baran told ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena she wants to bring awareness to the dangers of the social media trend that killed her son.

"This young man who died recently had done it before back in January. I know his mother had taken away his phone. He was going to stop his Instagram account. Sure enough, he did it again and unfortunately it was fatal," said Ahsha Safai, SF Supervisor.

Our media partner, The San Francisco Standard spoke to Marina Baran at her home in Glen Park as she sat in her son's bedroom.

Baran confirmed Daniel, was last seen on BART surveillance "climbing out of the train where the carriages meet and squeezing between two rubber spacers," per the Standard.

She believes Daniel may have been inspired by similar stunts posted on social media.

"No social media post, no number of likes, no great footage is worth dying for. The fact that two incidents have happened. Two kids have died in just a matter of a few weeks is absolutely awful," said Rafael Mandelman, San Francisco Supervisor.

Supervisor Mandelman and Supervisor Safai represent the districts where the teens passed away. They have both contacted Bart for solutions. "Train surfing" is not a San Francisco "only" problem.

"Subway surfing" is an issue New York City is battling. In September, NYC launched a prevention campaign following multiple deaths and injuries.

MORE: FDA warns against 'very unsafe' social media trends targeting teenagers

Luz Pena: "We are seeing this happening all across the country in big cities: San Francisco, New York. What can city officials like yourself do?"

Ahsha Safai: "This is what I would say: I think a call needs to go out to the social media companies. They need to have higher alerts on this. The minute they see something like this they need to remove it. There should be no posting on this type of activity."

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BART riders like Mikita Muanza, a mom of two teenagers wants BART to take action.

"The BART station probably needs to work better with their security system because there shouldn't have been a way these kids got on top of the train. Period," said Muanza.

Daniel Baran, was a Skyline College history student. His dream was to go to law school on day according to his mom.

"Knowing that this is an issue. I hope that we would do something about it," said Vera Lee, San Francisco resident and BART rider.

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