Riders rescue fellow rider who fell into Metro tracks

Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Updated: 5:50 p.m.

Two Metro riders rescued a 70-year-old man who fell onto the Metro tracks Friday afternoon.

The man reportedly lost his balance at the Farragut North station just before 1:45 p.m., according to Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato.

Navy veteran Michael Schearer, told The Washington Examiner that he had just looked down the tunnel and saw a train coming. Then out of the corner of his eye he saw the man slip.

"It looked like he was just walking along the edge and tripped or something," he said.

The man was about 25 to 30 feet away, but near the mouth of the tunnel where the train was coming. 

"There was no choice," Schearer said. He and another rider raced to help. The man had his arms on the platform, then the two hoisted him up by his shoulders, Schearer said.

The train passed by about 15 to 20 seconds later, Schearer estimated.

They tried to comfort the man, who was in serious pain and coughing up blood, until medical crews arrived. They found his phone and called his wife.

The man was taken to George Washington University Hospital, Asato said, but the extent of his injuries was not available.

Schearer tweeted under his handle, @theprez98, about the incident shortly afterward, saying, “My heart is still on over-drive.“

He soon added: “Just doing what I hope any other passenger would do for me or anyone else. Not a hero just a fellow citizen."

Surprisingly, such rescues are not unheard of at Metro. In December, riders rescued a person in a wheelchair who fell at Potomac Avenue. Last April, riders rescued a couple in their 70s who fell at Gallery Place. Another rider who fell during President Obama's 2009 inauguration was saved by a visiting police officer who rolled her into the safety crawl space beneath the platform before a train could hit her. And a video of another rescue by riders went viral in 2010.

However, not all falls onto the tracks have such happy outcomes. At least four people since 2009 have been killed after accidentally falling into the tracks.



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