The woman struck and killed Wednesday night by an NJ Transit train heading from Long Branch to Bay Head was identified as a young artist from Lake Como who played a role in Asbury Underground and other local arts events.
Laurie Tobia, 25, was struck by the train about 8:25 p.m. where the train tracks cross Wall Road on the boundary of Spring Lake and Spring Lake Heights, between the Belmar and Spring Lake stations, said Lisa Torbic, spokeswoman for NJ Transit.
It is unknown what Tobia was doing on the tracks. For more on Asbury Underground scroll to the video below.
“She was only 25, but she was an old soul,” said Barry Petersen, owner of Coffee Surf in Belmar who worked with Tobia on projects. “She was just a super cool chick. She always had a smile on her face. She loved to surf.”
Among her projects was a mural at Belmar train station, Petersen said. Her work was featured on a web page for Belmar-based web development and marketing company SEMgeeks.
In 2017, during the annual fall arts festival in Asbury Park, Asbury Underground, Tobia put up a pop-up art show in the basement of Capitoline restaurant, said Pat Schiavino, an Asbury Park artist, the found of Asbury Underground and owner of Art 629 Gallery in the city.
Tobia’s artwork appears on her web site, laurietobia.com.
Roddy Wildeman of Neptune, an area artist who owned a gallery in Belmar a few years ago and now one in Yonkers. New York, said that Tobia was involved in public art projects in New York, New Jersey and outside the country. A popular collaborator, she found strong support in the arts community in the local arts community.
For the sixth time in recent years, artists and musicians converge on Asbury Park to put their work on display. STAFF VIDEO BY DOUG HOOD
“When she walked into a public place, everybody was happy to see her,” said Wildeman, who owned Torche Galerie in Belmar, closing it a few years ago. “When my team met her, everyone wanted to know her for the rest of our lives.”
And Tobia returned the support she received, he said.
“If someone was having an amazing day or had a great accomplishment she shared that
joy as if it were happening to her,” he said. “If someone were trying to hide
sadness or discomfort Laurie would also read those feelings.”
About 10 crew members and passengers were on the North Jersey Coast Line train 4375 at the time. None of them were injured.
Ken Serrano: 732-643-4029; email@example.com
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