Wheel Chair on Max Train Capsizes, Ejecting its Passenger
I heard exclamations accompanied by the thud of – of what? landing bodies?
My first thought was that a fight was underway, and my impulse was to immediately distance myself from the epicenter. But as I looked away from my book and began to collect my things, I saw with horror that a woman was sprawled on the floor in front of me -- Good Night! She lay thrown to her side, a short distance from the motorized wheelchair she’d fallen out of, that too on its side.
Already, three or four surrounding people had dived in to help. One learns a lot about oneself when something like this happens. My first inclination was to hold back and let others handle it – though certainly I would have jumped right in had there been no one else. But as it was, I sensed a great commotion coming on, and my priority was to get my VERY EXPENSIVE reading glasses safely into their case, and make sure I had a firm grip on my bag. Maybe that kind of instinct is a result of spending much of my youth in the writhing metropolis of Naples, Italy. Or I suppose it could simply mean I’m a selfish pig, I don't know. I do know that situations of chaos and commotion are prime opportunities for spontaneous robberies. In any case, once my personal possessions were secured, I dove into the pile to help out.
I’ve never seen one of those things tip over. They look so bottom-heavy it never occurred to me they could. I’m not sure how it happened. I think she was anticipating her stop and traveling toward the door at the same moment that the train went round a bend and then stopped at a station.
We buzzed the emergency button I’ve mentioned in recent posts, without doubt this time as to whether this was a legitimate use of it. The driver asked if we needed her to call an ambulance, to which we conveyed the woman’s clear answer: No. Please do not call an ambulance. After a while the driver’s voice came over the speaker asking how we were doing back there. “We have a lady down,” answered one astute passenger who seemed the most on top of the situation, “and we’re going to try to get her back into her wheelchair.”
At this point the driver stopped the train and walked down the platform till she got back to where we were. Shortly a Tri-Met uniformed man (whom I think the driver had summoned) also appeared on the platform. Much discussion ensued, and I found myself in the role of translator (like I so often am in real life) since I was the closest to her head. Her head was on the floor, and she said she was hard of hearing on the upward side, so “translation” or message relaying back and forth was necessary.
We followed her instructions and got her back in her chair. Her arm on the down side had been scraped and bruised. She was completely a good sport about the whole thing, and thanked us all profusely as the Tri-Met official wheeled her off the train. Names and numbers were solicited from those involved. No doubt they’ll want to figure out how this happened. If they ask me, I’ll have to say I have no idea, since I only saw the done deal.
As you know I’ve seen some doozies on that train, but I have to say that everyone around her was nothing but kind and helpful. No slobs to be seen.