Baby Separated From Mother on Metro Train

Baby on board but doors close on mom

By Arlene Borenstein
|  Thursday, Nov 11, 2010  |  Updated 8:01 PM EDT
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Metro doors close on a mother then the train takes off with her baby inside. One of the Metro passengers who helped reunite the pair is upset the train operator did not do more to help.

Darcy Spencer

Metro doors close on a mother then the train takes off with her baby inside. One of the Metro passengers who helped reunite the pair is upset the train operator did not do more to help.

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A baby ended up riding a Metro train all alone Wednesday morning, surrounded by strangers, after the train doors shut before the child's mother could board.

Just before 8 a.m., the mother was pushing her baby aboard a Green Line train at the West Hyatsville Station. The child was in a stroller and on the train when it began to pull away. The mother was left behind on the platform.

Barbara Runion, 59, of Hyattsville, told The Washington Post she was on the crowded rail car when it happened.

"We were frantically waving at the mother," said Runion, a legal assistant at Washington Harbour. "It happened so fast."

Several passengers took action, Metro said, signaling the train operator over the intercom, The Post reported.

"There's a baby in a stroller here, and the mother was left behind in Hyattsville," Runion said a man told the operator. She said the operator acknowledged the call with a couple of words but did not provide any instructions on what to do about the situation.

The baby was silent, possibly asleep, Runion said.

The train finally arrived at its next stop, the Fort Totten Station. Several passengers disembarked, brought the baby off the train and asked Metro employees for help. Metro Transit Police were alerted and watched over the baby until the mother arrived at the station.

Metro spokesperson Reggie Woodruff told The Post the mother "just pushed the child on, and we can assume she wanted to get on as well, but the doors closed." Train operators can't wait until everyone boards to close the doors and leave the station, he said. He also told The Post that the doors on rail cars don't automatically open if there's something in between them.

The mother did not file a complaint, and thanks to those concerned passengers, the child will have a you'll-never-believe-what-happened-to-me-as-a-baby story for years to come.

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