The family of a 39-year-old Dorchester man killed in an incident on the Red Line early Sunday morning is devastated and trying to understand what happened.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office says a passenger got his arm stuck in the doorway of an inbound Red Line train at Broadway Station in Boston at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Investigators say as the train departed the station, that man was dragged into the track area and later died.
The man was identified Monday by the MBTA as 39-year-old Robinson Lalin. Now Lalin's family is trying to cope with the loss of the father of two as they await answers on what went wrong.
"'I love you,' that is what he said to me to me when he called me and now he is not here anymore," Nely Norales, Lalin's aunt told NBC10 Boston.
Norales said she helped raise her nephew since he was just 8 months old.
"My heart now is broke, I want to cry, but I am not going to, I have to be strong," she said.
Family members said Lalin was someone who lit up a room, the life of the party.
Kelvin Lalin considered him a brother.
"You could be upset but as soon as you saw him you would start smiling," he said.
The family is demanding to know what happened.
More on the investigation
"I want to know, I want to find out what happened to Robinson, How? How can it be possible to die like that?" Norales said. "When he put the hand, nobody see that?"
An independent safety expert said something like this is "entirely avoidable" and should never have happened.
Millhouse is a rail safety expert and former chairman of the Metro-Link, Southern California's train system. He is not part of this investigation but said any time a train leaves the station it is ultimately up to the train operator to ensure everyone is clear before pulling away from the station.
"If you haven't done that, it is like skipping a portion of your checklist, on a preflight before you take off, it is just standard operating procedure," he said.
The family said MBTA investigators visited their home this afternoon. The NTSB is now leading this investigation.
The MBTA says the train operator, who was hired in 2018, will remain off duty during the investigation.
The MBTA hasn't said what kind of sensors are in place when the doors close, but we do know it's the train operator's responsibility to make sure the doors are clear before closing them and departing the station.
In a statement, the MBTA said the investigation will include "collecting statements from witnesses, reviewing any images captured by cameras, and examining vehicle maintenance and inspection records."
His family said Lalin was headed home from South Boston to Dorchester when he died. He leaves behind two children.