WASHINGTON — Oct 11, 2018, 8:58 AM ET

Man in wheelchair falls to death off transit escalator


A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority official says a man fell to his death when he attempted to ride an upward Metro escalator in a motorized wheelchair.

Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly tells news outlets the man called for an elevator at the Columbia Heights Metro station Wednesday afternoon before quickly boarding the escalator. She says he had nearly reached the top of the escalator when he fell backward, landing at the bottom.

Ly says the man was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. She says his name isn't being released pending the notification of his family.

She says the elevator was working. A recent Metro report says elevator availability for the last fiscal year was 97 percent. But many people with disabilities disagree, citing frequent breakdowns.

News - Man in wheelchair falls to death off transit escalator

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  • jlew911

    Lord forgive me, but why would he even attempt something like that especially if the elevator was working! I read in another article he got tired of waiting for it. Should've waited..

  • Sunshine1229

    I wince when I see people attempt to take the escalator, with strollers, even if they have support at the back and front.

  • Band, On the Run

    I use a manual wheelchair, and I'd never even consider using an escalator. Trying it in a motorized chair? Those things are very heavy. Going over backwards down a flight of steps in one of them would be deadly. Obviously.

  • BannedAgain

    This is how it will play out. There were no signs warning people in wheelchairs not to take the escalator. Since there were no signs the guy thought it would be OK. The fault lies with the transit authority.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury his family deserves the 10 million we're asking for.

  • Wacked

    Maybe he should've taken an uber

  • brickmette

    Maybe it's not such a good idea to try to ride an escalator while in a wheelchair.

  • Dicazi

    Late for work?

  • Jiba

    All what I can say is RIP

  • gs12

    Where ever he was going wasn't worth the price.

  • USAF Retired

    Kind of crazy to ride a motorized wheelchair on an escalator.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    Someone who uses a motorized wheelchair to get around should KNOW you can't use an escalator safely. He called for an elevator but should have waited.

  • The Terminator

    I don't think an escalator is equipped to handle a wheelchair.

    Sounds like he was a little impatient.

  • David

    Like the bumper sticker says "Stupid is not a handicap"

  • MoMoney

    Do dumb things and dumb things happen.

  • mrshvd3

    And will his family now sue Metro and the escalator company for not posting BIG signs stating "Do NOT ride this escalator in a WHEELCHAIR"?

  • Bertd

    What level of stupidity does it take to think you can safely ride a wheelchair up an escalator???

  • MandalayBay328

    Theres this invention called an elevator......you'd be AMAZED at how it works!!!

  • Bongs&Thongs

    He knew the risks

  • THEFred

    To paraphrase Orwell, commuters want less statistics, and more working elevators.

  • JuPMod

    Gee, was the step large enough to hold the wheelchair? Unless there is someone supporting the chair from behind, I really do not see how can anyone in a wheelchair can safely ride an escalator on his or her own.

  • Kirby

    That is just stupid. But I suppose we all do dumb things we don't really think about unless they go terribly wrong like this did.

  • Chuck Heston

    Just because you are in a wheel chair doesn't mean you can't be stupid. Darwin at work here folks.