Press Release
Senator Gerry Cardinale Senator Gerry Cardinale (R-39)
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Contact: Brittany O'Neill / 609-778-2012
August 27, 2018
SIGNED: Cardinale’s ‘Tommy’s Law’ in Memory of Man Killed in NJ Transit Accident

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Law Named in Honor of Man Struck by NJ Transit Train in Bergen County

Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Gerry Cardinale to provide support to NJ Transit crash victims and their families in the wake of such tragedies.

The law honors Thomas “Tommy” Ryan, a local resident who was fatally struck by an NJ Transit train in Bergen County.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Tommy’s Law, legislation sponsored by Sen. Gerry Cardinale to provide support to NJ Transit crash victims and their families. (

“I cannot imagine the pain that Tommy’s loved ones endured after he lost his life in that train crash,” Cardinale said. “What is even more heartbreaking about this tragedy is that in the midst of their grief, the Ryan family received virtually no support and experienced a total lack of communication from the state. That is unacceptable. Our state agencies must be held accountable for providing services and support to victims of public transit crashes, as well as those they leave behind.”

Tommy Ryan was fatally struck by an NJ Transit train in 2016 at the Main Street Station in Ramey, Bergen County. The train was traveling approximately 70 miles per hour.

Senator Cardinale’s “Tommy’s Law” (A-3904/S-862) requires NJ Transit to designate an employee within the New Jersey Transit Police Department to serve as a liaison between NJ Transit and the New Jersey Transit Police Department. The liaison would to provide assistance to victims of NJ Transit train, light rail, and bus accidents.

The roles of the NJ Transit Liaison would include:

  • To provide, in an appropriate, timely and sensitive manner, pertinent information to victims and/or their loved ones.
  • To return all personal belongings after the conclusion of an investigation.

“We have seen NJ Transit engage in heartless practices, such as failing to provide timely information on a crash, or holding on to a victim’s belongings,” Senator Cardinale added. “We must put a stop to such unnecessary hardships. I am hopeful that Tommy’s Law will be a strong step in that direction. Survivors and their families have suffered enough. Instead of making their grief worse, let’s make sure we are striving to provide quick and responsive assistance to every victim that needs our help.”

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