Teens stuck in D.C. after late concert Parents waiting at station found subway had closed

July 19, 1992|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writer

Jean and Bryan Ledoux of Glen Burnie say their 16-year-old son was among scores of teens stranded outside RFK Stadium after the Guns N' Roses concert ended Friday night because the Washington subway had stopped running long before the event ended.

The couple said they had double-checked the Metro's closing time with Metro employees at the New Carrollton station when they dropped off their son, Benoit Martineaux.

"We were told there would be no problem, that the Metro would not leave those kids stranded," said Mrs. Ledoux.

Reassured, she and her husband went home and returned to New Carrollton later, as did other parents, to pick up their son, only to become more anxious as the minutes passed with no sign of the children.

The couple discovered the subway had closed when two teens who had hitchhiked back to New Carrollton from the stadium described for them the scene at the other end of the subway line.

"We got in the car and drove there. When we got to RFK about 2 a.m., there were thousands of kids standing around. It was a nightmare," said Mr. Ledoux.

"Kids were scattered from wall to wall," said Mrs. Ledoux, picking up the story. "Some were sitting by the locked Metro doors waiting to be rescued. Parents were frantic. We met one couple who had dropped off two 15-year-old girls. They hadn't found them by the time we found Benoit. The people at Metro need to coordinate this better. We don't want this to happen again."

Beverly Silverberg, a spokeswoman for the Washington Metro Transit Authority, said the agency had published notices in some area newspapers that the subway would not operate past midnight, its usual closing time, for the concert.

"I can't imagine why the employees [at New Carrollton] did not know it," said Ms. Silverberg. Metro "told the concert coordinators the last train out of the stadium station would run at 11:40 p.m."

Ms. Silverberg said that the agency makes decisions on whether to run trains after stadium events, based on the number expected to attend and the cost.

"Unfortunately, no matter how much you publicize anything, I'm afraid some people still don't get the word," said Ms. Silverberg. "I feel badly for those passengers, but we had not planned to stay open late."

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