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Families Of Metro Crash Victims Share Raw Emotions

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Evelyn Fernandez, the daughter of crash victim Ana Fernandez, breaks down as she speaks at a memorial ceremony.
David Schultz
Evelyn Fernandez, the daughter of crash victim Ana Fernandez, breaks down as she speaks at a memorial ceremony.

At a memorial service for the families of the victims, Evelyn Fernandez walks up to the podium. In front of Metro's senior leadership, the mayor of Washington and several city council members, she talks about her late mother, Ana.

"And I still can't believe it because I didn't even have the chance to see her. It was a closed casket," she says.

Fighting back tears, Fernandez talks about how she's now raising her five siblings.

"I know my mother would...she would be really happy. But I actually wish she was actually here, to at least give me a hug, to at least tell me, 'Look, Evelyn, I'm really proud of you,'" she says.

Two years have passed, but for these families, the grief is still very present.

There's also a sense of anger. At the memorial service, the mother of one of the victims unfurled a grisly, blown-up photo of her daughter's dead body, and mourners in the audience recoiled away in horror. Several of the victims' families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Metro, and it's contesting that in court.

After the service, Metro's leaders walk with the families to a plaque at entrance to the station, where they lay a memorial wreath. Their tears are muffled by the sound of trains passing overhead.

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