TTC officials said the worker, 49-year-old Peter Pavlovski, was struck by the train —typically used to used to transport workers and equipment between job sites on the subway line — on an above-ground section of the subway system just south of Highway 401.
"Around 4:45 this morning, just north of Yorkdale station, a tragic accident occurred which fatally injured one of our members of staff and seriously injured another member of staff," said TTC CEO Andy Byford, who spoke with reporters after visiting the scene of the accident.
"At the moment we don't know exactly what happened. I don't wish to speculate. We do know the staff was working on the track — on a work-site train — somehow a couple of them, two of them, were hit by a train," he said.
Pavlovski, described by the TTC as a road master — a tunnel and track foreman — was pronounced dead on the scene. He had been working for the TTC for 22 years.
"A crew of seven workers, under Mr. Pavlovski's supervision, was performing work on the northbound track in the open-cut area of the Spadina subway line north of Yorkdale Station when Mr. Pavlovski and another crew member were struck by a southbound work car," the TTC said in a statement.
'We are all ... still in shock'
Friends said Pavlovski was a dedicated family man. "We are all as a community still in shock," friend Sam Sotripoulos told CBC News.
Throughout the day on Friday, people visited the family home in Scarborough to pay their respects.
The second worker, whose name has not been released, was injured in the collision and rushed to hospital with non-life-threatening head injuries. That man has since been released.
Byford later said that a third TTC employee was taken to hospital — the driver of the train that hit Pavlovski — suffering from extreme shock.
"It's the worst possible thing that can happen in transit," said Byford. "We're all a family ... so to have this happen is both shocking and tragic."
"Our investigators will be fully co-operating with the Ministry of Labour," Byford said. "It's too early to speculate on what happened, but we will get to the bottom of that."
About 90 shuttle buses were running as subway service between Downsview and Lawrence West stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina line was shut down for the entire morning rush hour as police and ministry officials investigated. Subway service was restored by around 1 p.m., the TTC said.
The TTC has also cancelled a town hall meeting planned for Etobicoke on Saturday.