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

Posted at 10:16 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 00:16:19-04

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.