Woman killed after being dragged at BART Powell Station in SF was tethered to dog in train

ByAmy Hollyfield and Melanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Woman killed in SF BART dragging was tethered to dog in train
A woman who died after she was dragged onto the BART tracks in SF had a leash on her waist that was connected to a dog inside a train, officials said.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The National Transportation Safety Board is sending two investigators to the scene of a tragic fatal accident at the Powell Street BART station that happened Monday afternoon. There's new information about how a San Francisco woman got dragged by a train.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office has now identified the woman dragged and killed at the San Francisco Powell Street BART station Monday afternoon as 41-year-old Amy Adams of San Francisco.

"It was pretty traumatic," said Mike Sim, who witnessed the incident.

Sim was on the platform and witnessed Adams' body being dragged.

"It was kind of like dut, dut, dut, dut, dut," said Sim, describing the sound.

BART now says the victim was on the platform with a dog tethered to her waist. She boarded a Dublin/Pleasanton bound train with the dog but at the very last second, right as the doors were closing, she got off the train. She cleared the doors, according to BART, but the dog did not. The train departed with the dog inside the train as she was dragged and pulled into the track. BART says the dog was not hurt.

"Everybody was in shock," said Sim.

Sim says he picked up a phone on the platform and called a BART attendant.

"You need to stop the Dublin train that just left Powell Street cause there's somebody stuck on the door and then she goes OK, OK, you know, we'll contact them," said Sim.

Now, two NTSB investigators will spend approximately one week on the scene investigating, documenting the train and platform as well as looking at the functionality of the door system and operational procedures for directing passengers getting on and off the train.

"And they'll be gathering any types of sources of recorded data, so this could be video surveillance there could be recorded data at the train control center," said Peter Knudson, NTSB spokesman.

Knudson says they'll also be speaking with eye witnesses. BART says the victim appeared to be waving at someone. Sim says he spoke with a distraught man on the platform.

"He said, 'My girlfriend, my girlfriend,'" said Sim.

BART General Manager Bob Powers spoke out Wednesday about Monday's accident that killed Adams.

"As general manager of BART, and all of the BART family, our condolences go out to Ms. Adams, to her family, to her friends," Powers said when asked by ABC7 News about the incident during his weekly listening tour Wednesday morning.

Powers said BART is cooperating with the NTSB investigation.

ABC7 News asked Powers about BART's dog policy. He said service dogs are allowed, other dogs should be in a crate. We asked about Adams' dog.

"Right now, we don't think it was a service dog. That will be part of the investigation but by all accounts right now it was not a service dog," Powers responded.

An NTSB preliminary report could take 30 days to complete.

"The preliminary report is going to lay out the facts and the circumstances of the accident it will not be analytical it won't point to a cause or factor," said Knudson.

While the final report including probable cause could take one to two years to complete.

Despite that timeline, the NTSB says safety improvements are often made sooner.

"Are there ways we can change a practice or a system or training or equipment in order to break that accident chain in the future," said Knudson.