Family of People Mover victim says he was dragged for 14 minutes

Image 1 of 8

The family of Michael Whyte, left, who died on the People Mover tracks, wants answers.

One month after a Detroit man dies on the tracks of the people mover, we learn some of the horrific details of that tragic accident.

Daniel Berry described how he felt when he learned his father Michael Whyte lost his life on the tracks of Detroit's People Mover last month.

"I felt a big space in my chest just kind of taken away," said Berry, the victim's son.

He says his dad had just left the casino that night. The 53-year-old, who we've learned may have had too much to drink, was spotted stumbling on the platform.

Whyte tried to board the train, but slipped and fell between two rail cars.

"He tried to get up and when he couldn't, the train just kind of took him away," Whyte said. "I heard it dragged him for 14 minutes through eight different stops. And when I heard that, it made me a little mad."

At first it was believed Whyte was dragged 50 yards, but now his family learned it was much farther and the People Mover employees manning the system, failed to notice his dad on the tracks.

It was witnesses who eventually spotted the body and called police.

"I feel the city of Detroit should have been on their job as far as that train was concerned," Berry said. "There should have been a sensor on the train to tell the train there was a foreign object on the train (tracks). People watching the cameras should be watching the cameras."

The Detroit Transportation Corporation restarted the People Mover the next day, but the investigation into what went wrong, and why it took so long to notice a man was being dragged on the tracks, continues.

Whyte's death was ruled an accident, but Daniel and his family still believe it could have been prevented.

Ultimately, they blame the city and have now hired a lawyer to hold it accountable.

"There are enough problems in the city of Detroit," Berry said. "But this is not something I want them to brush away."

Toxicology tests have not come back yet, but the family says it should not matter. FOX 2 contacted the city to ask if there will be any changes made, but are waiting to hear back.

A city spokesperson did say the incident remains an open investigation.