A woman climbed onto the tracks at the Montgomery Street BART station Wednesday, lay down as a train approached and escaped with barely a scratch, officials from the transit agency said.
Approximately 2:20 p.m., witnesses said the woman leaned over the platform, caught eye of an approaching train heading to the East Bay, then dropped down onto the tracks between the rails, according to BART spokesman Linton Johnson.
An operator of the approaching train honked his horn several times at the woman, but she did not move, Johnson said. The operator tried to slow down, but at least three of the train’s cars passed over her before the vehicle stopped. BART trains typically enter each station travelling 30 to 35 mph.
After it was apparent the woman suffered no major injuries, a BART worker helped her out from underneath the train, Johnson said.
Johnson said he didn’t know how much clearance there is between the base of track and the rails that carry the BART trains, but he said it was obvious from the woman’s lack of injury that there is enough room for someone to lie down without making contact with a train.
“She barely had a scratch on her,” Johnson said.
No further information was released about her, other than that she is Hispanic. BART police are investigating the incident.
Johnson would not comment on the woman’s mental state or speculate what prompted her to lie down on the tracks.
“It could have been a number of things,” Johnson said. “Whatever the reason, we certainly don’t want our passengers getting on the trackway, especially if there is a train coming.”
He said there are about two or three similar incidents per year involving people getting in front of BART trains, with about half of those ending in fatalities.
There were delays of up to an hour because of the incident, and full service was restored at 4 p.m.