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Photo via @heavy_minds/Instagram

Daring Instagram photographer dies surfing NYC metro train

Christopher Ashton Serrano's vertigo-inducing shots attracted more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.


Austin Powell


Posted on Oct 7, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:33 pm CDT

A popular Instagram urban explorer died Wednesday morning after an apparent stunt went tragically wrong. 

Photographer Christopher Ashton Serrano attracted more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, under the handle @heavy_minds with his stunning photos of city landscapes and vertigo-inducing shots from the tops of skyscrapers. This photo, for example, was taken just four days ago and provides a jaw-dropping view of Times Square: 

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Winter in NYC ❄️ #blizzard2016

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Serrano, 25, had reportedly climbed atop the Coney Island-bound F train in Brooklyn, near the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street station. According to Digital Rev, he may have been clipped by an object the train passed. His body was found at 5:12am.  

Serrano’s brother, Ryan, posted a poignant tribute on Facebook: “I lost my brother today. My first best friend. I’ll never forget our adventures.”

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I wish I had taken more photos of you. I lost my brother today. My first best friend. I'll never forget our adventures. You took me to my first rooftop, my first abandoned building, first tunnel. You took me to my first concert, and my second one shortly after. 2 years ago we snuck out of the house after work to take pictures on a snowy night. We wandered the city during Storm Jonas taking photos. I'll never forget our celebratory high five after we both caught that photo of the lightning in DUMBO. We got chased out of a construction site by a helicopter. We could do anything together. We skated together. We worked together. Went to the gym together. Played video games together. Talked about almost anything together. This house will never be the same without you. I love you, brother. ❤️ @heavy_minds. Thank you everyone for your kind words. I really appreciate all the support. If anyone has any old photos or videos of my brother please contact me.

A post shared by Ryan Serrano (@w.hitelight) on

H/T Digital Rev

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*First Published: Oct 7, 2016, 12:25 pm CDT