Officials honored a Good Samaritan and a Metro Transit Police Department officer who helped a Metro rider who collapsed on the platform of a Virginia station.
On his way to work at the Pentagon Jan. 31, Chris Metsala, a 46-year-old husband and father of two, collapsed on the Braddock Road Metro platform.
“And with no warning, and no signs, he collapsed and doesn’t remember a thing,” his sister-in-law Stacey Hudson Padova.
Debra Anderson, who also was headed to the Pentagon, happened to be on an incoming train.
“I heard somebody ask, ‘Is he OK?’ And so I looked out the windows and I saw the gentleman lying face down,” she said.
When the doors opened, Anderson acted.
“I just felt a compulsion to get off of the train and go help him,” she said.
She joined Metro Transit Police Officer Dill and other riders in using CPR training. Metro workers then rushed in with a defibrillator.
“You don’t really think about it, you just start doing what you’re trained to do," Braddock Road Station Manager Larry Adams said.
Within a few minutes, the Alexandria Fire Department took over.
“There are no words adequate enough to express our gratitude,” Hudson Padova said. “How do you thank angels?”
Some may call the near-perfect timing and orchestrated teamwork a lucky coincidence, but Debra sees it differently.
“I don’t care by what name you want to call God, but it was God, of course," she said.
It wasn’t Anderson’s usual commute, and she doesn’t take Metro often.
“But on that day, I was running late to work, and it was just fate,” she said.
The Alexandria community recognized Anderson and Dill for the heroic actions.
“I’m not a hero,” Anderson said. “I’m just someone who was there at the right time.”
"A man is alive today thanks to the quick response of several individuals - including Officer Dill, bystander Debra Anderson, and the Alexandria Fire and EMS responders - who all played a critical role in this successful outcome," Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.