Metro train operator stops train before hitting person on tracks

A Metro train operator applied the emergency brake and was able to stop a train before seriously injuring a man who tried to commit suicide by putting himself on the tracks at the Ballston station in Arlington on Monday, authorities said.

It is the third time in less than a week where operators have been able to stop a moving train before it hit people on the tracks.

In the Monday night incident about 10 p.m., Metro officials said, a 44-year-old man got off the platform at the Ballston station and lay down on the outbound tracks. The operator of an oncoming train hit the emergency brake and was able to stop the train “prior to any serious injury,” Metro officials said.

The man suffered lacerations to his hands.

In two other incidents, Metro train operators managed to stop their trains without hitting two people who also were trying to commit suicide.

During the Friday evening rush hour, a woman placed herself on the tracks at the Bethesda station and refused to move after the train stopped in front of her. Metro Transit Police took her into custody, and she was taken to a local hospital.

On Saturday night, a man intentionally put himself on the tracks at Judiciary Square, but the operator was able to stop the train before severely hurting him. The man suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital, Metro officials said.

Metro has tried to stop suicides after they spiked a few years ago. The transit agency is working to train employees on how to help prevent suicides, and it has a hotline number for those in need of help.

Metro’s suicide hotline number is posted on signs: 1-855-320-LIFE (5433).

 

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.

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Maggie Fazeli Fard · March 5, 2013

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