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I decided not to mention this yesterday, but, at a station I was at from time to time three or four years ago, I witnessed a suicide like that. "Witnessed" doesn't mean I saw the impact, it was a hundred or so yards from the station on a crossing and it was twilight. Just the incoming train braked suddenly and stopped on the crossing. The police and fire brigade were called, the line was closed both ways, lights were set up. A good hour went by while traffic built up at the crossing, and passengers in the station. Cars honked and passengers complained about the delay and called home on their mobiles to say they didn't know when they'd be back. Someone, one of those people who always knows everything, said it happened quite often on that crossing, it was easy to stay hidden and jump out at the last moment. Then it took time for the rescue team to be sure they had all the pieces. And they also had to wait for a new driver, because the one that had just happened to would be replaced.

It's easy to understand how drivers can be haunted by this. It's clear that in most cases they are not going to be able to stop the train in time so they are helpless as someone gets splattered. And the thought of the mental state of a person who is willing to use subterfuge to be sure of getting the death they are aiming at, and why that particular one, the crushing by the juggernaut, which would repel most people, attracts some.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2007 at 12:42:41 PM EST

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