Memorial Preps Anger Metro Crash Victims' Families
Relatives "angry and disappointed" they were not consulted beforehand
Metro is planning a memorial service on June 22, one year to the day from the crash that killed a train operator and eight passengers.
That came as news to the families of the victims, who did not learn about the service until a reporter told them, according to the Washington Post.
“All of us are angry and disappointed," Kenneth Hawkins
, a brother of one of the victims, told the Post
. "I would have thought the interim general manager would have stepped up to the plate and embraced the families."
Metro officials said they didn’t inform the families about the planned remembrance service at the Fort Totten
Station because preparations are still under way.
"We definitely will be extending an invitation," said Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein
. "We are still firming that up."
Once the plans are set, “The very first people we will invite will be family," Farbstein told the Post
. "At that time, we will share with them details of what we are planning and how we would like them to participate in the service."
The families said they should have been consulted before any plans were made.
"I am angry," said Tawanda Brown, the mother of victim LaVonda "Nikki" King, 23. "The families need to be involved," she said, adding that what Metro is planning "may not be appropriate."
"I find it very odd," said Monica Cochran
, sister of victim Veronica DuBose, 29, upon hearing of Metro's plans for the June 22 event. "You'd think they would give us at least enough time to prepare for that," she told the Post.
Last June’s crash was the deadliest in Metro history. It happened when a six-car Red Line train slammed into a train that was stopped in front of it, just north of the Fort Totten Station in Northeast Washington. A preliminary investigation uncovered circuit problems that may have disrupted signals in the stretch of track where the accident occurred, but a final determination into the cause of the crash has not been made. The National Transportation Safety Board
has scheduled a hearing on the matter for next month.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington