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Man killed after being dragged by Metro Rail train

Mike Desmond

A man was killed Thursday night after being dragged by a Metro Rail train from the Fountain Plaza Station, just south of Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo, onto the ramp that carries trains between the surface and the tunnel.

Transit Police Chief George Gast says it is too early to understand what happened because not all of the myriad of cameras along Main Street and on the train have been checked. However, police officers found evidence of the unidentified man being dragged that entire distance. There was a witness on the sidewalk.

"We're doing what's called a total station, which is taking all the measurements of the accident," Gast said. "We're starting here at Fountain Plaza and we have to go all the way down to the portal. So, as you can imagine, there's going to take a considerable amount of time."

The train driver told officers he didn't see anything and the train continued on its normal route, stopping at each station all the way to its end at University Station. He will be given the required drug and alcohol tests.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

"We had officers walk from the portal all the way to Allen Station and there is no evidence of the accident much beyond the portal," Gast said.

The Medical Examiner's Office was on scene initially and was expected to return, with an autopsy likely.
Gast said this isn't the first time this has happened.

"We've had several incidents of this," he said. "We had one about three years ago where an individual attempted to cut between the train, up at I believe Church Station, and got dragged down to the portal. He was alive at the end of the incident, but ended up expiring a couple of months later. It has happened in the past."

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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