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On Feb. 19, 16-year-old Brittany Wright was boarding a Metrobus in Foggy Bottom. She set the brakes of her wheelchair while the driver prepared to turn on the lift that would hoist Wright into the bus. “Like, the next thing I know I’m flipped over on the ground,” Wright says. “I flipped over and hurt my back really bad, and I’m still in a lot of pain, like, a lot of pain.”
Wright landed on her 19-year-old sister, Geneva James, who lost consciousness. Paramedics arrived. James was bruised, but Wright’s pain remains. Their mother, Racshell Wright-Jones, says Metro never even called to apologize. “It could have been a situation where they had their necks broke and their heads bust wide open because of negligence,” she says. “Geneva, she’s still walking with a little limp….With Brittany, you can’t even touch her back.” Community nonprofit Bread for the City is trying to put the family in touch with a lawyer to recover the costs for treatment.
Wright alleges that the driver was in a hurry and pressed the button without checking that the chair was secure. Metro spokesperson Joanne Ferreira denies the driver was at fault. “Our understanding is that it’s the customer’s responsibility, and it’s a very unfortunate incident, and we’re very sorry it happened,” says Ferreira. She adds that Metro didn’t call the family because its report on the incident wasn’t finished; she says Wright-Jones will hear from the agency soon.