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By Kathleen Stubbs
D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel transported a man to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after finding him beside his wheelchair in a Metro station.
D.C. Fire and EMS personnel found the man by an escalator at Columbia Heights Metro Station in Northwest D.C., and transported him to a hospital with life-threatening injuries Wednesday, spokesperson Doug Buchanan said.
It was “an adult male who was at the bottom or near the bottom of an escalator next to an electric wheelchair. We found him unconscious, quickly provided him medical attention throughout – on the way to the ambulance and on the way to the hospital,” Buchanan said.
The man died at the hospital, according to local media reports.
“The case is pending,” said Cheryle Adams, special assistant to the chief medical examiner, about the cause of death.
Metro Transit Police is investigating the man’s death, said Alaina Gertz, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson.
A message left for Metro’s Office of Media Relations was not returned before deadline.
Local media reported that a Metro spokesperson said that on the platform level, the man pressed the button for the elevator, waited about 15 seconds, and then went to the escalator to use it instead of the elevator. He rode partway up, then fell down the escalator with his wheelchair.
Northwest D.C., resident Tony Belleo, 45, said sometimes the elevator takes two or three minutes to arrive. He takes the elevator at Columbia Heights Station every day.
“This is America. Nothing comes that quick. You wait for everything here,” said Belleo, while he was standing outside the elevator.