Watch CBS News

CTA Surveillance Video Angers Family Of Red Line Crash Victim

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The family of a woman hit and killed by a Red Line train last week said a leaked CTA video of the crash is only adding to their suffering--and what the video shows has infuriated them.

The victim, Felon Smith, had hopped onto the tracks to try to save a cell phone she'd dropped last Thursday at the 69th Street stop.

"We all can say the cell phone wasn't worth it," Smith's sister, Brandy Martin, said. "But we've all done some things--like the people that dropped the video from CTA--that we know we shouldn't do."

Martin said she logged onto Facebook and discovered a CTA surveillance video of Smith's death was somehow leaked and was circulating online.

CBS 2 is not sharing the video, which appeared to have come from a camera above the platform Thursday.

The video shows Smith climb onto the tracks to look for her phone and, about 20 seconds later, the train hits her.

Martin wonders why there weren't any CTA or security workers able to get her off the tracks.

"All they had to do was pull her up," she said. "I'm bitter."

CBS 2 late Monday confirmed the video shows a private security guard in a vest on the platform with a security dog.

Joe Schwieterman is a DePaul University transportation professor. He said many CTA stations are thinly staffed and it's unclear if there were any employees on the platform.

"You would have liked to have seen somebody perhaps run to the end of the platform to frantically alert the motorman as quickly as they could to slow the train," Schwieterman said. "Of course, pulling the woman out of harms way. It doesn't appears a lot of that happened. She hit at a pretty high speed."

Martin said the video has sparked ugly social media comments and rumors about her sister. Smith was a 37-year-old mother from the South Side.

"She was not suicidal," Martin said. "She was a woman of integrity. A woman of strength."

A CTA spokesperson sent CBS 2 the following statement Monday afternoon:

"CTA did not authorize the release of this video, and is currently unaware how it became public. We are concerned that this video was leaked, as it is against CTA policy to distribute any video without authorization. We are investigating the matter. Any individuals who failed to follow policies and protocols will be held accountable. CTA is also undertaking a thorough review of all the circumstances surrounding the incident, including interviews with employees and witnesses."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.