(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) The family of the man who died after being dragged by a Metro train at the Dunn Loring station yesterday (Wednesday) has launched a Gofundme to cover their memorial service expenses.
The daughter, who organized the fundraiser, told FOX5 that her dad’s dog, Daisy, is a service animal and was wearing a service animal vest when her leash got caught in the doors of the train — contradicting the Metro Transit Police Department’s statement that the dog “does not appear to be a service animal.”
“We tragically lost my father today in a train accident. As he was exiting the train the doors closed while his service dog was still inside. The train took off and my father was taken with it,” the Gofundme page says. “We want to raise money to be able to have a nice service and have him cremated. My father loved his grand children and his dog more than anything and he was such an amazing ‘PanPaw.'”
The fundraiser has a set goal of $3,000.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority confirmed this afternoon that Daisy is indeed a service dog in a statement first reported by NBC4’s Adam Tuss.
“The dog found by MTPD officers, now identified as Daisy, had a sweater vest on when she was initially found, covering a harness that read service dog,” a spokesperson said. “Again, we send our condolences and sympathies to the family of Mr. Riley.”
Just this morning, WMATA told FFXnow that its police department “found the dog without ID and did not find any vest or markers to indicate the dog was a service animal.”
In a statement yesterday, Metro Police said they received a report shortly before 1:30 p.m. that a person had been hit by a train at the Dunn Loring station.
Based on the preliminary investigation, Riley had exited the train, but the doors closed on his dog’s leash before the animal was able to deboard. When the train started moving, Riley got pulled along the platform and onto the tracks.
Riley was transported to a hospital, where he died. Daisy was found unharmed on the train at the West Falls Church Metro station.
The police department said the train operator had conducted two “safe door checks” before moving the vehicle.