Monday, January 18, 2010


TriMet has released a video of an incident in which a Gresham man said a MAX train’s
doors trapped his son in his stroller.
But the father doubts the video’s validity, saying it doesn’t reflect the panic and fear he felt.
In an e-mail accompanying the video, TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said, “While this remains
under investigation, we are providing the video showing that the sensitive edge worked as the father had
difficulty boarding the train with a stroller that did not have a left front wheel.”
Andrew Kiloh doesn’t dispute that. In fact, he wonders why TriMet didn’t release video of him on the
station platform, waving the broken stroller wheel at the MAX driver in an effort to explain he needed
more time to board the train.
“The driver looked right at me,” he said over the phone from his Gresham home. “I don’t think they
understand they are a public service and they don’t treat their customers with any respect.”
Kiloh filed a complaint with TriMet following the Sunday, Jan. 10, incident at the Gresham City Hall
MAX station. He said his 2-year-old son, Gavin, got trapped in his stroller as the MAX doors closed,
opened, closed and opened again.
He told reporters one of the stroller’s wheels popped off, slowing him down as he and his fiancée
boarded the eastbound train.
With the doors closing, reopening and closing again, Kiloh said he struggled to free his son while
screaming for help. He feared the train would leave the platform, smashing his son into a nearby rail.
Kiloh said he didn’t have time to hit emergency buttons, but because it happened at the front doors
next to the operator, she should have heard his screams for help.
He also expressed frustration that the train operator, when confronted at the end of the line when
Kiloh got off the train, blew him off.
“Do you realize you just closed the door on a child?” Kiloh said he asked the driver. She reportedly
replied by telling him he should have been on the platform when the train arrived. When he said the
broken wheel delayed him, she said, “Well, you should have moved faster.”
Video shot from four angles within the train shows the front of the stroller – missing a wheel and with
its front end off the ground – stop between the open doors. The doors close on the stroller but
immediately open up as Gavin’s mother, who was already on the train, rushes over to help.
As she picks the stroller up and pulls it inside, the doors close again, this time near the handles. The
doors open right away. Then with the woman pulling and Kiloh pushing, they get the entire stroller on
Kiloh then hands the woman the missing wheel and she pops it on the left front end of the stroller.
Although he’s viewed the video, Kiloh thinks it has been sped up to make it look like the doors open
faster than they did. “Not true, not true at all,” Kiloh said. He claims that instead of opening in half a
Father disputes TriMet video of child trapped by doors Page 1 of 2 1/18/2010
second as shown in the video, it took one to two seconds for the door to open the first time, even longer
the second time.
Fetsch said doors on the MAX are designed to reopen if something blocks them. Also a MAX train
can’t leave the station if all the doors are not closed.
But Kiloh points to a recent incident as proof to the contrary – TriMet’s firing of a MAX driver for
ignoring emergency calls from a father separated from his 3-year-old son.
As the father and son got off the train holding hands, the doors closed between them, trapping the
father on the train and leaving the child stranded on the platform.
“So that’s proof the doors don’t always open if something is blocking them,” Kiloh said.
Fetsch said in that case, the father pulled his hand back as the doors closed, so the door sensors didn’t
register that they needed to open. The real issue was the driver not responding to the father’s calls for
help, Fetsch said. “It had nothing to do with the doors; the doors worked fine.”
In addition, she has watched video surveillance of Kiloh on the platform and said he doesn’t appear to
be waving a stroller wheel at the driver or struggling with the stroller. “You don’t ever see that
Kiloh acknowledges that in his panic, the doors may have seemed closed longer than they were. And
that the doors did open as designed. “But not fast enough,” he said. “My son was trapped, in my eyes.”
As for his complaints about the driver, “We’re looking into that,” Fetsch said.
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