On Wednesday afternoon, a man died after he was dragged down a Northern Virginia station by a D.C Metro train. According to authorities, this occurred after the man’s dog leash got caught in the door of the train.
The law enforcement division of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Metro Transit Police Department, stated the incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. at the Dunn Loring Station in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Metro Transit police said in a statement:
Shortly before 1:30 p.m., Metro received a report of a person struck by a train at Dunn Loring Station. The adult male was transported to the hospital, but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. While the investigation is still ongoing, video appears to show the incident occurred approximately 450 feet away from the operator cab. The train operator performed two safe door checks before moving the train.
The deceased cleared the train and was on the platform away from car, but upon closer review, a leash appears to be tied to the person, which was unfortunately caught in the door, leaving a dog with no ID inside of the car. This obstruction caused the individual to be dragged on the platform and onto the tracks. The dog, which does not appear to be a service animal, is in police care. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased.
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) February 15, 2023
According to reports from Fox 5, the deceased individuals has been identified as 50-year-old Harold Riley. Fox 5 reported:
He was a father to two girls and a grandfather to four. His dog Daisy was his service dog. Riley was in the process of getting off the train with his dog. As the doors were closing the dog was still on the train and the man had the leash tied to him somehow. As the train pulled away from the station, it dragged the victim down the platform and onto the tracks. In a video from SkyFox over the scene around 1:30 p.m., investigators can be seen combing the area for evidence and trying to figure out what exactly happened. Metro Transit Police say the train operator did perform two safety checks by opening and closing the doors before pulling away from the platform.
Several people gave their thoughts on the sad incident. “It’s a little bit frightening that that could happen, and that there aren’t some sort of safeguards in place to prevent that from happening to anybody else,” one person said. “I ride the Metro every day, it’s not something you see or hear about every day, and it’s sad,” said another passenger, “Such a sad story.” The individual continued, “I don’t want to put the dog over the human, but I’m glad at least one party is okay, and I hope somebody reaches out and adopts the dog.”
According to the WMATA, “Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only animals permitted to ride unconfined on Metrorail and Metrobus. However, a pet may be transported on Metrorail and Metrobus, provided it is carried aboard in a secure container from which it cannot escape.”
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