Man struck by train in Bethesda
(WJLA) - During the busy commute home on Tuesday, the accident happened at the Bethesda metro station.
After reviewing video surveillance and speaking to witnesses, Metro officials say that a 50-year-old male rider walking near the edge of the platform appeared to have a medical emergency, reportedly a seizure, and tumbled onto the tracks shortly before 5 p.m.
They also tell us that the timing could not have been worse, as a train was coming into the station. The rider only had about 10 seconds to climb to safety on the platform.
"There really wasn't time," said Dan Stessel, Chief Spokesperson with WMATA. "You are staring down at the lights of an approaching train."
Other riders tried in vain to help.
"There were other passengers on the platform who tried to render aid and also tried to stop the train, waving their arms on the platform trying to get the train operator's attention," said Stessel.
And it worked. The train came in slower than usual, but did hit the man – dragging him about 20 feet.
"We worked to get the power shut off -- that took a few minutes before the paramedics could get down to the track area," explained Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service PIO, Pete Piringer.
Rescue crews were able to pull the man to safety, transporting him to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. Riders we spoke with were amazed that the rider survived at all.
"If the train was going 10 miles-per-hour faster, he would have been dead. The fact that he was able to survive this is huge," said Elisa Magalhaes.