Monday, November 23, 2009


TriMet announced today that it’s placed on paid administrative leave the operator whose actions contributed to the separation of a father from his 3-year-old son at a train station last week.

The Nov. 16 incident, which has earned national attention, occurred after 3-year-old Aiden Bailey hit the ramp button while exiting the train. The doors immediately began to close in order to deploy the ramp for handicap access. And the boy’s father, Aaron Bailey, was forced to let go of his son’s hand as the doors closed.

The doors would have re-opened after the ramp had deployed, but the train operator may have overridden the deployment process, according to TriMet. At any rate, the train departed, leaving the child alone with a stranger, 22-year-old Orianne Greene. She waited with the boy until his father arrived on a returning train seven minutes later.

TriMet, which did not identify the MAX operator, says it will address the issue with the operator at a disciplinary meeting Wednesday morning.

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TriMet has placed the operator of a MAX train on administrative leave for his actions on Nov. 16 that led to a 3-year-old boy being separated from his father on a Southeast Portland light-rail platform.

The boy was reunited within minutes after the father boarded a train headed back to the station. Orianne Green, a 22-year-old nursing student, stayed with the child on the platform until his father returned about seven minutes later.

TriMet said the MAX train operator, who was not identified, was put on administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing Wednesday morning. TriMet said an investigation found that the operator’s actions contributed to the child’s separation from his father.

According to TriMet, the incident began when Aaron Bailey and his son, Aiden, were riding a Green Line MAX train headed for the Gateway Transit Center. As the train stopped at the Southeast Main Street station, Aiden and his father started to step off, and the child pushed the disabled ramp button. That caused the doors to close before his father could depart the train.

Aaron Bailey said he pushed the intercom button several times to alert the train operator, but the operator did not respond to four calls to stop the train.

At the station, Green saw what happened and shouted through the doors of the departing train that she would stay with the child until the father returned.

TriMet said its investigation found that the doors closed because the disabled ramp was being deployed, and would have reopened, but the operator selected the “door close” button as he prepared to leave the station.

TriMet’s findings follow a thorough inspection of the emergency intercom system and door/ramp operations, review of train performance data and a recreation of the incident.

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