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Identities of Victims Released

The names of seven of the nine victims have been tracked down.

We'll post the rest, as well as details, as we get them.

Train Operator

  • Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield,


  • Major General David F. Wherley Jr., 62, former commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard

  • His wife Ann Wherley, 62, a mortgage banker

  • LaVonda "Nikki" King, 23, a District resident who was planning to open a beauty kiosk

  • Dennis Hawkins, 64, an educator from the District

  • Veronica DuBose, 29, a nursing student

  • Cameron Williams, 37, of Washington

  • Mary "Mandy" Doolittle, 59, who worked at the American Nurse's Assocation

  • Ana Fernandez, 40, of Hyattsville

Read more about the victims here. If you knew any of these individuals, please send us an e-mail.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 23, 2009; 6:48 PM ET
Categories:  Metro , transit  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Live-Blogging Fenty's Train Crash News Conference
Next: MARC Back, More Buses, But Red Line Still Slow


May all deceased passengers and the train operator rest in God's peace !!!

Death of a loved one, be they a family member, a relative, or a close family friend or employee, is never easy to address. This is even more so, if the departed was killed by the negligence of others, as is obviously the case with this most horrible Metro train wreck.

UNLIKE AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT CASE, where one must worry about 'the other guy's limits of insurance coverage,' or even the limits of one's own automobile PIP policy, in any MASS TRANSIT case, there is always sufficient insurance coverage, if not from the carrier itself, then from others that may have contributed to the event having occurred in the first place, i.e., faulty braking systems and possibly computer over-ride or control of these systems.

Questionable safety design of the cars themselves and I could go on and on.

There will be 4 kinds of claims brought in this case, namely:

1. Wrongful death

2. Serious personal injury claims with permanent disabilities [s.]

3. Claims of passengers that may not have been seriously physically injured initially, but who may develop either physical or mental injuries in the following days, weeks or perhaps even months after this accident.

4. Claims for after-discovered injuries, i.e., post-traumatic epilepsy which may not show up at all for over 1 year.

More information about the rights of injured individuals by e-mail inquiry.

disclaimer: this posting is not the rendering of 'legal advice.'

Posted by: | June 23, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the victims and families of victims will be seeking legal advice if they are interested in due time. Yeesh.

Bruce, you actually expect folks to be contacting you for representation based on a comment on a Post article? :) While I don't admire ambulance chasers, seems awfully lazy to me (and it's not clear why you'd think the post would be deemed as rendering legal advice).

Posted by: Fallen1 | June 23, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

This is wholly inexcusable! Our community must demand that all car and track maintenance be brought current at once. These were good people going to and from work or school. Our neighbors, our coworkers, and for some, our loved ones.

METRO is central to our region's economic stability! There are jobs in the METRO car sheds, ready for mechanics and engineers: politicians find the money for maintenance and repairs!

With all sympathy for the families and friends of these wonderful people who are gone. . .

Posted by: IAmend | June 23, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I think this is the bio page for the General

Posted by: idiparker | June 23, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

General Wherley was also part of the UMUC leadership institute. Here is the link with a bio.

Look for his bio with a picture at the bottom.

Posted by: vtpilot110 | June 23, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a google ad on the Metro Status Service page that reads "Hurt on the DC Metro? Contact us if you were injured in the DC Red Line Metro accident". It is followed by a web address for a law firm. I suppose they're entitled to advertise in that way but it still stunned me to see it there.

Posted by: KilmarockCommuter | June 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

When in the world are we going to stop cutting corners to save money and start valuing human lives? Every one of the victims had a family who loved them and important things to contribute to the world around them. We are poorer for the loss of all of them - my condolences to all their families.

Posted by: nonprofitmgr | June 23, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse


I no longer practice law, but as a former Personal Injury Trial Attorney, I know lots of folks who do. The more serious the case, the more often the injured client needs help with the costs of litigating [discovery costs, 'sometimes' emergency availability to funds [pre-pre- settlement/judgment]and the ability in some instances 'to go the long haul.'

UNFORTUNATELY, all too often, a substantial case does not settle for what it is really worth until the week before trial and you don't get to 'the week before trial' without filing suit.

Where the injuries are not substantial [no permanency or residual effects usually beyond 1 year] cases frequently settle without litigation.

One can litigate [or file suit] on non-permanent injuries, but this tactical approach [best left to the decision of counsel in combination with the client] views still settling the week before trial, if the offer is right.

As a practical matter, some lawyers/firms do not want their available lines of credit 'tied up' for multiple years of possible litigation. Example -- How much does it cost to take depositions of doctors and 'other' experts for their time spend during the deposition? These doctors & experts may agree to wait for payment until the case settles, BUT the COURT REPORTER won't wait to get paid.

Firms that have available 'lines of credit' from which expenses can 'advanced' [against the case] frequently have those lines at well above typical consumer credit rates, i.e. 24%, per year, etc. When the case settles, discovery costs [usually thousands of dollars] PLUS 24%, per year goes back to the line of credit. The cost of having doctors available for trial can run up to $10,000 per day, per doctor [or other expert] and all these get deducted. There will likely be costs for some expert exhibits, possibly running into the thousands.

The point of all of this is that settlement value is less than trial value and if the verdict is more sizable than THE INSURANCE COMPANY likes, it will get appealed on some objections raised in trial. This is ESPECIALLY FRUSTRATING to a client, whose view is 'the jury has spoken,' so why can't I get the money NOW. Often cases settle on appeal, because the Defense/Appellant counsel KNOWS the client will be 'hard to control' if it doesn't settlement. EXAMPLES of the 'discount factors' from a jury verdict are jury award 8 million; settled for under 3 million, etc., etc.

Hope this is helpful.

Posted by: | June 23, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Trolling for clients in this blog is low.

My prayers with the families and friends of those killed in the crash. To me they are just a name in a blog post. To you, they were someone you loved and cared for. You knew their hopes, their dreams, their worries and their cares. May you find peace as you grieve.

Posted by: epjd | June 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

epjd wrore:
Trolling for clients in this blog is low.
As I previously stated in response to FALLEN1's comments. I NO LONGER PRACTICE LAW.

Nevertheless, setting out what clients of Personal Injury Firms might expect [for surely there will be a number of them from this accident] anticipates:

1. that probably most of the over 70 injured clients have never before even 'filed a claim' [have a lawyer do this in THIS CASE -- DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF] simply due to the possibilities of residual injuries. SURELY Metro will offer a couple of grand IMMEDIATELY for those who 'do it themselves.' Again, the complexities of WHAT COULD HAPPEN LATER, warrant AN EXPERIENCED personal injury ATTORNEY OR FIRM HANDLING YOUR CASE.


Posted by: | June 23, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Again, in light of the nature, extent and seriousness of this accident, if you do not know whom to turn to for a referral, you may e-mail me for same.

In the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, a lawyer may pay a fee for a referral, so long as same is disclosed to the client.

Posted by: | June 23, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, Washington Post, if there were ever a time to remove messages from your blog, surely this is it!

Posted by: dcc1968 | June 23, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear readers,

I think we can agree that at this time, the sympathies of the entire community go out to the families of those injured or deceased as a result of this accident. With the ongoing investigation, I'm sure there will be plenty of time for debate as to what changes should occur at Metro. The families will seek answers in an accident that should have never happened and they may even seek legal advice. However, in this forum, and at this time, it is unacceptable to be discussing anything other than the mourning and loss that these families are going through, and the pain of those who survived with injuries.

Posted by: tspaquin | June 24, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Worse, you are trolling for referral fees. Not the time or the place.

Posted by: epjd | June 24, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P. LaVonda "Nikki" King, you will truly be missed. Your family and friends are in my prayers. My prayers go out to all the victims and their families of the Metro accident. This is truly a sad time for all!

Posted by: Zee93 | June 24, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I spilled some coffee on me this morning that I bought at a local fast food restaurant. It sure was hot! And it hurt! Could you help me seek redress?

Posted by: shoveit | June 24, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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