By Edwin Folven, 1/31/2013
Critically injured victim may have jumped
A female victim was struck and critically injured by a northbound Red Line subway train on Jan. 25 after she apparently jumped in front of the oncoming train at the Hollywood/Western station.
The victim, who authorities did not identify, remained in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Wednesday. She was described as being in her early 40s, and investigators believe the incident was an attempted suicide, although it is still under investigation, according to Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. The incident was reported by witnesses around 8 a.m., and firefighters arrived to find the victim trapped under the train, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
“She was alive, and they were able to extricate her without having to lift the train,” Humphrey said. “Her condition was very serious.”
Sotero said the incident was captured by surveillance cameras, and the footage is being studied to determine exactly what happened, and whether any measures can be taken to prevent similar incidents. Train service was diverted to a single track while the firefighters extricated the victim.
“If somebody wants to place themselves in harm’s way, unfortunately there is little we can do,” he said. “We have security cameras and call boxes in the trains. There are features in place to keep people safe, but it can be impossible if someone has the intention of doing something like that.”
The Red Line’s first segment — from downtown Los Angeles to MacArthur Park —opened in 1993. The final segment to North Hollywood opened in 2000. Sotero said there have been 11 fatalities involving the Red Line since its initial opening, with eight being suicides. He stressed that it is particularly important that riders watch for suspicious activity, and notify authorities if they see something. He said reports can be made to sheriff’s department personnel on the trains or in the stations, and people can also call the Metro “See Something, Say Something” hotline at (888)950-SAFE.