Calm under pressure

Selethia Cole

Selethia Cole, an 11-year Metro veteran, was behind the controls Monday morning when frantic passengers called from emergency intercoms.

Riders reported a passenger with a bomb. She stopped the train because passengers were screaming.

When the train stopped, Cole called for help and tried to calm passengers. As she prepared to walk back the length of the train to find out exactly what was happening, she saw passengers pouring out of the train and onto the track.

Nearly three dozen people left the train and could have come into contact with the highly charges third rail. Contact would have been deadly.

Cole immediately radioed Metro control and had all the power shut off. It was a split second decision that could very well have saved lives. But Cole isn’t taking much credit. In fact, she’s grateful to the passengers.

“I feel like they helped me too,” she said. “Without their information I wouldn't have been able to do my job.”