A preoccupied Metro-rail passenger fell of the platform at the Pentagon City station, Thursday, just as a train was arriving. Two Good Samaritans pulled the dazed man to safety seconds before the train roared past. Grainy surveillance video captured parts of the incident.
44-year-old Jennifer Buchanan, of Annandale, Va. is -- literally -- a rocket scientist. She graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from MIT.
Her father, Kent Wright, although 72-years old, still works as a welder.
On Thursday, just after 6:00 p.m., the father and daughter went to the Pentagon City Metro station to catch a train to D.C. to watch the Washington Capitals hockey game.
While waiting for the next train, the pair observed a man walk by them. The man, they say, was looking intently at his portable phone. "This gentleman was walking along the platform, looking at his phone (or his i-phone, whatever it's called)," recalled Kent Wright, of Braintree, Mass. "And he fell -- he walked right off the [edge of the] platform." The man fell to the track bed, and for a moment, appeared stunned.
Wright is visiting from Massachusetts. Jennifer, the rocket scientist, is a local resident. She had already noticed the flickering red warning lights indicating that a train was about to arrive. Then she saw the train itself.
"I could see the lights on the train, coming in the tunnel," Jennifer Buchanan said in an interview. "And you heard everyone going 'stop the train, stop the train!' So, our first reaction was: we need him out, and we need him out now."
Security video of the incident shows the father-daughter team had only seconds to get the man out of the track bed before the train rolled through that part of the track.
"We just dropped to our knees, and I grabbed his hand," said Wright, who appears extremely fit for a 72-year-old man. "He was laying flat on the track, and he was just getting up. I grabbed his hand and yanked him up, and my daughter grabbed his leg, pulled him up, just rolled him up onto the platform."
Kent and Jennifer rescued the man seconds before the train raced by. Police arrived moments later, so the couple then boarded the train, and went on to the hockey game.
Metro believes the man who fell was shaken, but not seriously injured. The transit agency is not disclosing his name.
Because the father-daughter pair boarded the train that pulled in, the man who was saved never had a chance to meet or to thank the Good Samaritans who acted instantly.