On the Scene: Metro Collision Eyewitness Accounts
Mike DeBonis is calling in from the site of the Red Line collision near the Fort Totten station.
UPDATE 6:40 p.m.:
One Red Line train had been stopped on the tracks. It had just begun to move when it was struck from behind by a speeding train.
Brenda Payton was on the speeding train. "We just felt a big crunch and saw smoke and stuff. We got off the train as fast as we could." Payton is from Fort Washington, and she was heading home. Another woman on that train, Anastasia McKeown, says that just before the impact, the ramming train slowed down. "Then we felt an impact just after that. You could tell we hit something that wasn't an animal."
Though McKeown was in the last car, she saw one of the plastic partitions in the ramming train fall on someone's head. McKeown had back and neck injuries. A triage area for victims has been set up outside Jarvoe Jarboe Printing Co. People there are mostly folks who've been injured but are not in critical condition.
As for the stopped train, here's one account of what happened. Dennis, who declined to give his last name, says his train had just barely started to move when the impact happened. Dennis stepped out of the train and could see "three or four people on the ground, all bloody." Dennis was in the fifth car, one removed from the impact. After staggering out of the train, he spotted a woman on top of that sixth car, and blood was streaming down. "The interior of that car just got crushed," said Dennis.