What’s Going On?
The DC area transit system (also known as simply Metro or Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) seems to attract people who get hit by a train. On Tuesday of this week, a person was struck by a train at the Bethesda Station. There was another incident recently of a passenger being hit by a train at the Waterfront Station. And another at Dupont Circle. And another at Rhode Island Avenue. And another at Silver Spring. And Gallery Place, and U Street Station, and Ballston, and Farragut North. The list goes on and on and on and on. And on. And on. And on. Get the picture? Do your own search and you’ll find many, many more. It is appalling.
What is going on? Reports indicate that these accidents happen for a variety of reasons, and some of them really are not accidents. A few people jump intentionally to commit suicide, or attempt to do so. Some have lived to talk about it. Other times people are ill and fall onto the tracks after losing their balance. Some people are distracted while fiddling with their phones or while staring off into space when they fell. Still others were trespassing in restricted areas when the trains struck them. There have also been intoxicated persons who fell onto the tracks during their impaired state. I’m also aware of one incident in which a man was pushed into a rail car during an altercation. That could have been tragic, but fortunately both individuals only incurred minor injuries.
I don’t know if these sorts of train accidents occur as frequently around the country, but the incidence in the DC area seems unusually high, at least to me it seems high. I did a brief internet search of the BART system (San Francisco) and its accident history. What I found was astonishing. By comparison, the DC Metrorail system has had more incidents in the past three years than BART has had since 1979. These details made me scratch my head. Then I looked up Metrolink (Los Angeles) and its accident history. I located less than half the number of incidents as what is reported for the DC Metrorail system. MTA (New York) reports an unusually high number of incidents involving passengers being struck by a train. Even though the numbers in DC are high, the numbers actually appear to be much higher with MTA. The majority of MTA’s incidents appear to be suicide or attempted suicide.
What a violent way to go. First, I’d never (I don’t believe I would) commit suicide. But we never know what woes people are facing. Second, if suicide were the only option for you, I kind of think that taking a couple of bottles of sleeping pills and going to bed is better than jumping in front of a moving train, although I personally do not advocate inflicting fatal harm to oneself, regardless the life struggles that you’re facing. There has to be a better way to cope with your pain. I’m sure these folks never think about what will happen if they don’t succeed at killing themselves and they end up with permanent injuries, maybe even paralysis? Wouldn’t that suck?
Anyhow, I’m just glad that I never was a fellow passenger witnessing these person-train accidents. It would take me quite a while to recover from it.