Witness: Failure in alert system allowed man to be run over by M - KMOV.com

Witness: Failure in alert system allowed man to be run over by MetroLink train

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SWANSEA, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A man who says he saw a MetroLink train run over someone on the tracks says the system to alert Metro that somebody was on the tracks failed.

Donald Dean said he witnessed Timothy Peoples’ brother on the MetroLink tracks at the Swansea station before he was hit by a train. Dean claims he called for help two or three times using MetroLink’s emergency intercom on the station’s platform. The calls came before a train arrived.

“The train operator said they were going to send somebody, but the system failed. As soon as I reported that, the train operators should have relayed the message to all trains that a man was on the tracks,” said Dean.

Ten to 15 minutes later, Dean says crews arrived, but it was too late because a train already ran over the man. The victim severed his foot and broke his neck and was paralyzed, according to officials. 

“We remain perplexed how a man lying on the tracks is hit by a train when a witness has used the alert system in an effort to save the life of our client,” said Ryan Mahoney, of Cates Mahoney, LLC, "but we are waiting for Metro Transit to turn over video surveillance so that we can review the circumstances of this tragedy."

Dean blames MetroLink for not sending anyone when he called. Had there been security at the platform, Dean thinks the accident never would have happened.

“The train operator, who ever hit this man, please call the family and say you’re sorry. If you have a conscious. Ain’t no way in the world you should have hit this man,” said Dean.

Metro leaders have chosen not to comment on the situation but did say an internal investigation is ongoing.

Jeffrey Coker, the victim, is suing Metro, saying its emergency alert system failed.

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