A George Mason University student-athlete has been identified as the person struck and killed by a Metro train Sunday morning.
According to Metro spokesperson, 21-year-old Patrick Sibley was hit by an Orange Line train on the tracks between the East Falls Church and Ballston-MU Metro stations shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday.
Officials say they do not know what he was doing on the tracks. An investigation is ongoing.
According to a family member, Sibley was heading home from a bar in Clarendon when he got off the wrong Metro stop. They say he may have tried to walk along the tracks to the next station, but not having a good sense of direction, became confused and was hit by a train.
Sibley was entering his senior year at George Mason where he was a standout player on the men's volleyball team.
At 6'8" tall, Sibley was a powerful middle blocker. Head coach Fred Chao described him as a world-class athlete.
"He just exuded training, practicing, competing," says Chao. "He was an athlete through and through and really enjoyed the process of developing and becoming better."
Chao says he still can't believe Pat, as he was known to family and friends, is gone.
"He could have been a full professional, international-level volleyball player," Chao says.
Sibley grew up in California and Massachusetts where he played competitive volleyball in high school and at Sacred Heart University before transferring to George Mason University two years ago.
Patrick joined his older brother Shaun, a 6'9" middle blocker, on the volleyball team. Shaun is finishing a few credits in his senior year.
Chao says Patrick was interested in a career in finance. He had just returned to campus a few days ago and was looking forward to training and playing again.
Chao says he and his players will forever miss Sibley, a player with so much potential both on and off the court.
"He had the softest, warmest heart, and could really light up any space that he's in," Chao says.
"He was this really intense light and that doesn't need to go away," added Chao. "We'll carry that all with us. And his smile, his demeanor, his work ethic -- all of that we can carry with us and keep him going.
Coach Chao says the team will likely dedicate the season to Patrick. Counseling services have been made available to the team, students and staff.
From George Mason Athletics' website:
The George Mason community is mourning the loss of rising senior Patrick Sibley, a member of the men's volleyball team, after he died tragically on Sunday morning in a Metro train-related accident. George Mason Athletics is extending its deepest condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Patrick.
"The Mason community is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Patrick Sibley," said Athletic Director Tom O'Connor. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his friends, teammates, and all who are affected by this tragedy."
"Patrick Sibley was a world-class athlete," Head Coach Fred Chao said. "In a brief period of time he quickly developed into a dominant volleyball player. However, it was his love for his teammates and friends that shined the brightest. He had a unique ability to pursue his own goals and ambitions while at the same time fiercely support and encourage his teammates. I am honored to have been his coach."
Sibley joined George Mason in 2012 after playing one season at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. After sitting out his first season, he had a prolific 2013 campaign in which he earned All-Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) first team honors. Sibley led the team with 77 total blocks and was second in service aces (21). He played in 21 matches, all but two in a starting role. This past season saw Sibley and his older brother, Shaun, play as teammates. He was an integrative studies major with a concentration in advertising.
"Patrick demanded the best of himself in everything he did, and he brought the best out of everyone around him," said David Lucas, a senior on the volleyball team . "Pat's impact on the volleyball court was unmatched. Yet, his impact in our lives reached far beyond the sport itself. Pat's laugh was contagious. His smile—which he was rarely seen without—could turn the worst day into a good one. Every single one of his teammates considered him a dear friend. He always put those around him first, and he had a loving heart that will never be equaled nor forgotten.
Our hearts are broken, but our minds are filled with the countless precious memories we shared with our beloved teammate, brother, and friend, Patrick Sibley. We miss him deeply."
Counseling services are available to support the team, students, and staff.