FrontRunner passengers upset after UTA host allegedly ignored elderly woman who fell on platform

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CLEARFIELD, Utah -- A FrontRunner employee's actions Thursday morning put the Utah Transit Authority on the defensive. Two passengers tell FOX 13 News they were getting on the FrontRunner train at the Clearfield Station when they noticed an elderly woman, about 70 years old, running to catch the train.

“She was running up this platform,” Paula Garcia points out while standing at the station. “She got about 15 feet from the door when she fell on her face.”

The two passengers were standing in the doorway, holding the door for the woman when they saw her trip. They said it was unexpected, and so is what happened next.

“The train host told us to get out of the doorway and go sit down,” another passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

A UTA train host is someone who helps passengers on and off the train platform.

“The host, the girl next to me, and I, all three of us saw her fall,” the passenger added.

Despite that, he says the UTA host told them to get away from the door and sit down so the train could pull away. The train did leave, and left the elderly woman on the ground behind.

“I wasn’t nice about it, but I told [the host] it wasn’t OK,” the passenger said.

UTA says it’s looking into the actions of the employee and issued this statement:

"We take all complaints seriously, but one of this nature will receive expedited attention. The primary role of the train host is to ensure the safety of our customers first and then to provide general assistance. We will be looking to see if there is any video of this incident and to interview everyone involved. If any wrong doing is substantiated, appropriate action will be taken. Rushing on and off a train as its heavy doors are closing is something to be avoided. However, the train host would be expected to behave in a professional manner and also assist a fallen customer. They should contact EMS if necessary and ensure the customer is not injured."

The two passengers are left wondering if the elderly woman is OK, and wondering if UTA policy or employee training needs to change.

“I guess a couple of seconds is more valuable than somebody’s safety,” Garcia finished.

5 comments

  • Pam Lewis

    I would like to say that UTA will take this seriously but I do not believe they will. I have filed 2 complaints with them through the years and have not had any response from them regarding either one. This poor lady fell and that will be that unless Fox demands a response from UTA and the woman that was hurt. The train waits for no one come hell or high water

  • Nick Johnson

    This isn’t news, if you don’t want to fall on your face, show up on time and don’t run to catch the train. UTA gets raked over the coals for not being on time, in order to be on time they have the train hosts tell people to stop holding doors open. If you can’t understand that don’t ride.

    • me

      Are you kidding me? The ELDERLY woman fell on her face. I don’t care what she was doing, that PAID representative needed to go help her.

  • Sharon Hunter

    I I would like to thank Paula and the other woman for their concern. I am ok and I will continue to ride, mostly because I have little choice. Nick, how often do use public transit? Because I’m here to tell you it’s not easy. I use the train, Trax, and the streetcar to get to work. I can not get from Trax to the street car without running…our waiting 20 min in which time I CAN AND DO walk to work, but I guess that’s on the passengers too right. I won’t waste my time writing them I know several people that have or do work for UTA and its a bureaucratic joke. Officials say and do what they want, like say the doors were closed and the train was moving when in the video anyone can sees that train is not moving until I’m gathering my stuff!

  • Sharon Hunter

    When you look at the footage again, I was “going against traffic, as 45/60 Nuame’s high schoolers were going through the gates . I was running partly due to this. The conductor and “guest host” aka passenger counter could see this. I normally take the next train but thought I’d get an early start. .so much for that plan

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