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Man Struck By Metro Red Line Train Is Blind

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By Elliott Francis

A Metro spokesperson tells WAMU that the man struck by a train at the Gallery Place Metro stop Sunday, is visually impaired.It's unclear if that contributed to the incident.

Investigators with Metro Transit Police say preliminary evidence indicates the 48-year old man was standing at the edge of the platform that morning, and accidentally tumbled onto the tracks as the train pulled into the station.

Paul Shrader, from the American Foundation for the Blind, says there are devices on the edge of most Metro station platforms to alert visually impaired riders to the danger ahead.

"...they're called detectable warnings. they're the little domes that people see along the edge. That 's a helpful warning for people using a cane or a dog guide to pick up that you're close to the edge," says Schrader.

Schrader, who IS blind says despite of safety measures on Metro, there are concerns when you can't see.

"People around you who are running to catch trains. Tripping over a cane if you're carrying one, or distracting you dog if you're using a dog guide...for sure Metro stations can be very challenging places to get around safely...many blind people do just fine, but I know for some it's a concern that something will happen and they'll loose their bearings," he says.

Metro has not completed it's investigation. The man involved in Sunday's incident remains in critical condition. Metro has not released his name.

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