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Athens: Fare dodger, 19, dies after jumping off trolley bus to avoid ticket fine

A public transport ticket worth 1.20 euro cost the life of a Greek teenager boy. The young man reportedly jumped off  a trolley bus after a dispute with  a ticket controller and the trolley driver. The 19-year-old hit his head on the pavement and died a couple of hours later in an Athens hospital.

The incredible incident took place on Tuesday night in Peristeri suburb of western Athens. The young man had not valid ticket. The controller asked him to get of the trolley bus together with him at the end station in order to impose a fine.

According to eyewitnesses – passengers of the trolley – a quarrel broke out between the fare dodger and the controller. A quarrel that was joined by the driver.

Some passengers even supported the young man and even offered to pay the ticket price for him.

However the situation got out of control. There are claims that the driver reportedly tore apart the teenager’s t-shirt.

At a certain moment the teenager managed to press the emergency button, the door open and he jumped off the trolley bus, hitting his head on the pavement. An ambulance transferred the teenager to a nearby hospital. but the young man surrendered to his severe head wounds in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Some eyewitnesses claimed the young man was shouting that he had no money for the ticket neither for the fine as his family was without work.

Video: outraged trolley bus passengers after the incident

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After his death, the ticket controller and the driver were detained by the police.

Flowers left at the spot where the 19-year-old died

An investigation is to shed light on the circumstances. Greek media report that the trolley bus was in motion. The chairman of Trolley workers union told Greek media in the morning that when the emergency button is activated, the trolley bus slows down and that the door is opened automatically.

So far the information about the tragic incident tend to be rather conflicting: According to ProtoThema the ticket controller was polite and the far dodger beat him. The young man jumped off the trolley when the situation had already calmed down. PrThema notes also that ticket controllers are Public Transport employees who work outside their working hours for extra money and get a bonus of 10% from the fines they impose. The webnewspaper asks whether the controller behaved ‘over-zealously’.

PS a death for a ticket? an angry quarrel for 1.20 euro? We need to calm down as a nation…

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  1. Maybe just pay the fare and this wouldn’t have happened? I’m just saying..

    • keeptalkinggreece

      it looks as if controllers are ‘obliged’ to put a fine (40E). They get 10% as bonus.