• Mother blames Metro for son's death on escalator


    SEATTLE - The mother of a man who was killed on an escalator in a downtown Seattle tunnel is blaming King County Metro for his death.

    Around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, 42-year-old Maurecio Bell was on a King County Metro tunnel escalator at the University Station.

    In surveillance video, Bell was  shown staggering, losing his balance and falling. When he reached the bottom, the back of his shirt appeared to be entangled in the escalator.

    Investigators said Bell tried to get up, but he was immediately pulled back and was strangled.

    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne spoke with Ruby Denton, who is still coming to terms with the death of her son.

    “Was my only son because I still don’t, I still can’t believe he’s gone,” Denton said.  “All I know is my baby is gone and I have no idea of how that could have happened like that.”

    KIRO 7 checked the safety record of the five remaining escalators in the University Street Metro station. All five have been cited by Labor and Industries, dating back nearly two years.

    Most of the escalators were cited -- among other concerns -- about replacing broken comb teeth, and nothing indicated the deficiencies were taken care of.

    Denton now blames Metro for her son’s death.

    “Because they were told to have that fixed by March, and they never did anything about it,” Denton said.

    Police are still investigating, and it is unknown at this time if a mechanical failure was the cause of Bell’s death.

    The head of King County transportation told KIRO 7 they plan to inspect all 40 Metro escalators. 

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