- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Depending on the witness, the horrific Metro train crash that killed at least nine during Monday’s afternoon rush hour sounded like an exploding bomb, rolling thunder or massive trucks smashing together.

But for all who heard the crash — and saw the resulting twisted metal and broken bodies — it was one of the most chilling experiences of their lives.

“I felt nervous because a lot of people were screaming,” said Alvaro Daniel Lopez, 25, who went to a bridge overlooking the Takoma Metro station when he heard noise from the crash.

“I had never heard things like that,” he said.

Latasha Gray described a scene of walking wounded and lifeless bodies reminiscent of a horror movie.

“I was just shocked. I saw [a dead body] covered with a sheet, and I saw the other people with neck braces,” said Miss Gray, 27. “I just pray to God that everyone is OK. I just thought it was something going on at the [nearby] warehouse. It sounded like an explosion.”

D’Ana Williams, who lives next to the Takoma Metro station near the crash site and can see the tracks from her windows, said the crash sounded like “two dump trucks colliding into each other, like they dumped a load.”

“You could just hear the train going on top of the other train,” said Ms. Williams, 27.

Gale Griffin, who lives a half block from the crash site, said she heard a loud noise shortly after 5 p.m. that sounded “like a bomb went off.”

Alice Miller was waiting to pick up her daughter and grandson at Takoma station when the crash occurred. Minutes later, after walking back to her home overlooking the wreckage, she received a cell-phone call from her daughter, who said they were in the back car of the train that was hit but weren’t seriously hurt.

“They’re doing pretty good,” said Ms. Miller. She added that her daughter said she could see her mother from the train window, but she couldn’t see them.

Lisa Jones, 44, who also was waiting for her daughter at the station, was frustrated over what she described as a lack of communication with authorities tending to the crash.

“Nobody is telling me nothing,” said Ms. Jones while nervously waiting for word from her daughter, Monica, 18, a passenger in the rear train.

Ms. Jones said her son spoke to her daughter on her cell phone soon after the crash and learned that she was OK but receiving oxygen from rescue workers.

“Right now, I don’t know what to think,” she said.

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Monday night offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

“It’s a dark day for the District of Columbia,” Mr. Fenty said. “If you were somebody on that train, that was just an unbelievable nightmare.”

The White House issued a statement late Monday expressing the condolences of President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

“Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washington, D.C., today,” Mr. Obama said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy. I want to thank the brave first responders who arrived immediately to save lives. My staff has been in touch with Mayor Fenty’s office and will continue to monitor the situation.”

• Sarah Abruzzese, Stephanie Green, Gary Emerling, Cassie Fleming, and Ben Conery contributed to this report.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide