Last evening during the busy rush hour, two Metro trains collided killing 9 people and injuring nearing 100 others. The names of the seven of the nine deceased are:
•Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield (train operator)
•Major General David F. Wherley, Jr., former commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard, and his wife Ann, both 62
•Lavonda King, 23
•Dennis Hawkins, 64
•Mary Doolittle, 59
•Anna Fernandez, 40
On behalf of the CNB Fam, our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to all that lost their lives and to their families and friends. As a Metro rider myself, I was deeply saddened and shaken by this tragedy. While every one is looking for someone to blame, now is not the time for pointing fingers. Metro is such a major part of the DC Metropolitan area that the government and other local industries would be crippled without it. What would happen in the event of an even bigger accident or God-forbid another terrorist attack? Is there an emergency plan in place? And if there is one, I ride metro everyday, why don’t I know about it?
Now is the time for a call to action. We must be empowered as Metro riders and force Metro to be accountable for their actions. We deserve to be well informed. When I was on the train yesterday the only announcement I heard was of a police incident outside of Fort Totten Station. That could have been anything. I had no clue about the crash until I was nearly home and received calls from Renee Woods, my mother, and my father (who lives in Michigan and rarely calls!). We should be informed if the trains we are riding are overdue for maintenance, which may have been the case in one of the trains. It seems Metro continues to raise prices, cut routes and service, while not improving it’s 1970’s infrastructure. Something must be done. We have to push for a change. Write metro here by clicking the link Metro Customer Comment and let your voice be heard!
Washington City Paper contributed to this report.