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Posted at 9:26 AM ET, 01/22/2010

MetroAccess employees suspended after incident

By Washington Post Editors

Update (1.25.09):MetroAccess drivers work for a contractor, MV Transportation. A Metro spokesman said Metro manages the contract, but the drivers are not employees of the transit agency.

Original Post: Two Metro employees have been suspended after three passengers, including a 90-year-old woman, disappeared for five hours after leaving an adult care center.

A MetroAccess vehicle left the Helping Hands Adult Services Center in Prince George's County with three passengers around 4 p.m. Tuesday, but didn't drop them off at home.

Ninety-year-old Gertrude Garner's grandson Perry Robinson says he called police when he arrived home and Garner wasn't there. He says she was found in the MetroAccess vehicle at a gas station and was dropped off at his home around 9:45 p.m.

Robinson says his grandmother has dementia and couldn't say where she had been.
Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel says there was a communications breakdown.

--Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  | January 22, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Traffic and Transportation  
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Next: Search resumes for missing Virginia toddler


"Communications breakdown," my eye. These elderly passengers were simply treated like bags of groceries, and left unattended in the van while the three Metro employees forgot about them and/or ran personal errands.

Hope the families see Metro big time for neglect of the dependent elderly.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Communication breakdown? How do you not communicate that you take these people home, not to a gas station? How do you not know there are people in your van? This is pure neglct and a hazard to their health. This must be criminal.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 22, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This is outrageous...metro is a disaster and needs to get it together. The employees should be fired for failing to perform their duties.

Posted by: dworrell | January 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Amazing. What is going on at Metro? Has anyone there ever been held accountable for these errors? Metro, people have died because of your negligence. Get rid of the Board and those responsible for allowing this to happen. If there is no accountability, then this will happen again, again and again. Wait, it has happened again, again and again...when will it stop.

Posted by: xmlconsultant | January 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

This story brings tears to my eyes :*( I get so heartbroken when I hear of old people being neglected!!!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 22, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

How can anybody be surprised by this? This is what unions get you. Stupid employees that can't be fired, can't be controlled, can't be relied upon. Look at that horrible woman from the Fire department that got her job back after causing the death of that poor man who was attacked.

Posted by: VAtrailerTrash | January 22, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

These unfortunate incidents demonstrate the fact that those hirees sorely lack any qualifications whatsoever to do the job. Whatever happened to basic common-sense? With so many jobless Americans, it's difficult to comprehend why so many irresponsible, inept employees are on the payroll, including the misfits that operate our school buses who have risked the lives of frightened children by failing to perform basic seat checks and headcounts to ensure no passenger is left behind.

Posted by: poescrow | January 23, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Why did it take 5 hours to locate them? This means the vehicle was missing, too. Don't they track their vehicles? What was the driver doing? What was the dispatcher doing?

Let's see some serious investigative reporting here. Our lives depend on it.

This constitutes reckless endangerment on the part of the driver, the dispatcher, and the contractor. The police should be involved.

Posted by: SoloOwl | January 23, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I suggest the Post consider bringing in some high school journalism students that would have made a phone call or two to add a bit more to this press release details only story.

Posted by: annandale4913 | January 23, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

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