🔴 Production stage manager hit by NJ Transit train

🔴 Show is nominated for best musical

🔴 Remembered as "soft-spoken" and "compassionate"

SOUTH ORANGE — A new Tony-nominated musical canceled its production Wednesday after a crew member was killed by an NJ Transit train.

Thomas J. Gates, 51, was struck near the train station in his hometown of South Orange around 9:12 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to NJ Transit spokesman John Chartier.

The train had departed Summit at 8:56 a.m. and was heading to New York Penn Station. Around 60 people including crew and riders were on board.

Service was delayed around 30 minutes.

Show is nominated for best musical

Gates was the production stage manager for the Broadway musical "Illinoise" which opened on April 24. The limited run will end on Aug. 10, 2024, reported Variety.

"Illinoise" is a Tony Award nominee for best musical along with several other significant nominations.

"We are devasted for his husband Rick, another member of the Illinoise community. These two amazing human beings led our company on our journey since the beginning. We dedicate the run of Illinoise to Thom and his loving memory," the production said on Instagram.

Remembered as "soft-spoken" and "compassionate"

Gates worked on several high-profile productions on Broadway including Waitress, Newsies, and Hairspray, according to Playbill.

Sara Bareilles, who starred in Waitress, posted on Instagram that Gates was "generous" and "compassionate."

"He has been a stage manager for many shows over the years, and taken care of countless others…but he’s the only one I made my first show with who took care of me. Today is unspeakably tragic for many reasons- I can’t even put words to it," said Bareillies.

SEE ALSO: NJ towns with highest levels of children with lead poisoning

Other reactions to the news of Gates' death came pouring in on social media.

A GoFundMe page for his husband raised over $22,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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