Metro North confirms man found on top of train has died, investigation continues

POST UPDATED MONDAY 1:55 P.M. — Metro North is confirming that the man has died. The investigation into why he was on top of the train is continuing.

The investigation is continuing into why a badly injured Cleveland, Ohio man was found on top of a Metro North train on Sunday morning.

Brian McClellen, 21, is currently being treated at Westchester Medical Center’s burn unit after he was found on fire on top of the 5:02 a.m. train that had left Stamford for Grand Central Terminal in New York City. As the train made its scheduled 5:08 a.m. stop at the Riverside station it lost power and  crew members went to investigate why and determine if there was a problem with the lines or with the train itself.

According to Metro North spokesman Aaron Donovan, that is when they discovered Mr. McClellen top of the train and on fire. The crew was able to successfully put the fire out and he was taken immediately to Westchester Medical Center for treatment at its burn unit. Mr. Donovan said Monday that Mr. McClellen suffered burns over 85% of his body.

The New York Post reported on Monday that Mr. McClellen is a model and actor and that a source claims there is video of the incident from Stamford’s train station. The paper also claims that Mr. McClellen was intoxicated at the time of the incident though that has not been confirmed by Metro North Police.

Mr. Donovan said that an investigation is underway and that when he was taken off the train Mr. McClellen was not able to immediately give “anything substantial” in the way of information about why he was there. It is also being determined when exactly he got on top of the train from the time of its departure from Stamford to the stop in Riverside. Mr. Donovan said that he believed that Metro North police had been able to have some discussion with Mr. McClellen but he wasn’t aware of what, if anything, had been learned yet.

“We are continuing the investigation about how and why he was on top of the train,” Mr. Donovan said. “We will have a briefing for the press when we have that information available.

Greenwich Police said Sunday morning that the pantograph, which is the device mounted on top of an electric train to collect power from the overhead wires likely fell on him, causing him to be burned and/or electrocuted. The investigation is being handled by the Metro North Police. There was no immediate information available from the Westchester Medical Center about his condition.

Mr. Donovan said there were 20 passengers on board at the time of the incident. They were transferred to other trains at the Riverside station.

The Post will have more information as it becomes available.

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