Teen Dies After Jumping in Front of Metro Train in D.C.

By James Hohmann
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 18, 2009

A 15-year-old who jumped in front of a Metro train at the Columbia Heights station died Thursday, the transit agency said.

He was the seventh person to intentionally step in front of a train since June. On Sunday, a 19-year-old man was fatally struck by a Red Line train at Gallery Place Station.

Metro board Chairman Jim Graham said suicides in rail stations are "happening with alarming frequency."

On Thursday, a Yellow Line train headed toward downtown hit the teen at 1:55 p.m. Metro sources familiar with footage from a surveillance camera at the scene said he was alone. There are no indications of horseplay or foul play, officials said.

The teenager was transported by emergency crews to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The youth's name is being withheld because he is a minor.

"This is now a crisis problem for Metro in how to deal with the determined efforts of people who are committing suicides in our subways," said Graham, a D.C. Council member who represents Ward 1, where the incident took place. "If we needed another great challenging issue -- and we don't -- this is it."

The station closed for 45 minutes, and trains going in both directions in that area shared a single track for nearly two-and-a-half hours. Metro Transit Police continue to investigate.

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