CEO of Atlanta MARTA commits suicide by jumping in front of train

Forlife44

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MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker, who led the public transit agency through an era of expansion and pandemic, died Friday, the agency confirmed.


The agency said Parker died by suicide. An agency official confirmed he was struck by a train at the East Lake station. The DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office said it could release no details of Parker’s death until its investigation is complete.


“The MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO Jeff Parker who has died by suicide,” Chairwoman Rita Scott said in a statement Saturday. “He was an outstanding leader and steward of MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken.


“As chairwoman and on behalf of my fellow MARTA board members, we are devastated at this loss as we valued Jeff’s leadership and looked forward to him bringing his vision for transit to fruition,” Scott said. “The entire metro Atlanta region owes him a debt of gratitude for his transformational efforts and we will not stop working to build on the foundation he created.”


Only on rare occasion does The Atlanta Journal-Constitution report death by suicide. The newspaper will typically respect the privacy of grieving families in such a circumstance. But in this case, a well-known public figure’s family is sharing the news with the public as a way to counter the stigma attached to suicide. The newspaper is honoring that request.





Parker, 55, had led MARTA for nearly four years. He oversaw its expansion plans in Atlanta and Clayton County and helped negotiate a new agreement among its member jurisdictions that paved the way for a 10-year sales tax extension.


Parker also guided MARTA to a solid performance during the 2019 Super Bowl, when hundreds of thousands of fans packed trains headed to the big game and related festivities. And he helped negotiate a new labor agreement that gave workers 3 percent annual raises and boosted pay in other ways.


More recently, Parker helped guide MARTA through nearly two years of the coronavirus pandemic. As ridership plummeted and staff illnesses increased, the agency has been forced to scale back bus service. It also has increased cleaning and taken other steps to protect passengers and employees, while relying on federal funds to help pay its bills.


Parker was an advocate of transit expansion, calling for a $100 billion transit “moonshot” for metro Atlanta in 2019. On Wednesday, during an online “state of MARTA” address, Parker said a bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by Congress — which included $923 million for transit in the region — was a step toward that goal.


Parker was consistently recognized as one of Atlanta’s most influential leaders, most recently named among Atlanta Magazine’s Most Powerful People of 2020 and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Power 100: Most Influential Atlantans of 2020.


The MARTA board was expected to name a temporary successor to Parker on Saturday.


State and local leaders expressed shock and sadness at Parker’s death.


“He had an incredible mind for transportation and logistics and a heart for people,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “He will be greatly missed.”


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MARTA said it would share more information on a leadership transition plan in coming days. It also said it will “provide grief counseling for employees as we process this devastating news.”


“As we struggle to understand the complexity of this tragedy, we grieve with and for his wife Erin, his daughters and all of Jeff’s family and friends as well as his MARTA family,” Scott said. “As we continue to grieve, we want you to know that suicide is preventable and help is available to you.”


SEEKING HELP: Individuals with suicidal thoughts, or those who notice signs in others, can call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225, which is available around the clock. All calls are free and confidential. To find a mental health service provider, visit www.mygcal.com.
 

MJ Truth

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If I was committing suicide, I'm not doing no shyt that will hurt. These people truly be gone.

RIP tho.
I doubt it hurts getting hit and run over by a train. Gotta assume you’re dead pretty quickly.

What I would hate is to try to commit suicide by doing something drastic, but surviving it, only to be alive but paralyzed or some shyt. Like imagine jumping off of tenth floor but somehow living, but now you’re handicapped for life.
 

Threnody

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I blame rap music :aicmon:






'Cause inside out, it's wiggida wiggida wiggidiy wack. :huhldup:

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Actually6Foot3

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Involved his own employee (the train operator) to kill himself.


Wild story.
not only did he scar the train operator and commuters who may have witnessed it for life but he also fukked up the whole line as well ruining hundreds/thousands of peoples days.


My sympathy gets lowered when folks do shyt like this.
 
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