Monday, August 27, 2007
Death on the line
Someone died on the Franklin line near the Windsor Gardens stop this morning. T employees were close-mouthed about what happened (which is appropriate, I think).
The inbound #710 train which departs Franklin Forge Park at 7:45 AM stopped at Walpole and everyone had to get out. We all walked down to a secondary parking lot to a row of T buses. That was an improvement over the last time we'd been bused; that time we were put in school buses, and the drivers had gotten lost. That was when there was a fire on the Windsor Gardens tracks, earlier this summer. It does seem that Windsor Gardens is the trouble spot of the Franklin line lately!
The bus ride took quite a while, but eventually we arrived at Norwood Central. The place was jammed full of people - at least two trains worth, maybe three - but there were two large trains available, both heading towards Boston. Passengers poured across the tracks and crowded into the first train as soon as it opened up.
I got to my destination about half an hour late. Still, I guess I can't complain; at least I survived the morning! And I wouldn't want to trade places with the engineer who drove the train that hit someone, if that's what happened. That must have been a nightmare!
Brian over at myDedham got on the train further down the line, at Endicott. He heard some interesting stuff about the incident; of course, there are always a lot of rumors when something like this happens. He also reports that the conductors didn't handle the repercussions of the incident very well, and came up with an impromptu "no standing" rule at Endicott. Luckily the rule didn't last for long!
Update: According to the news (Boston Globe: Fatal attack ends volatile Norton saga), the man who died on the tracks first shot and killed his ex-girlfriend (who'd had a restraining order against him), shot two of her three teen-aged daughters in the head (both of them are in critical condition; the third was on vacation in Florida). He also killed their family dog before driving to the train station, standing on the tracks, and shooting himself in the head just before the train hit him.
The Globe says it happened at Walpole, but it couldn't have been right at the station - that's where they made us get off the train. The rumors among the passengers was that it was at Windsor Gardens.
This is the second suicide on a southern commuter rail line in the past two or three months, I believe. Someone killed themselves on the Providence line earlier this summer; a co-worker was on that line and came in very late that day. I have to wonder if the incidence of suicide in general has been going up lately. If so, maybe it's connected to the increase in foreclosures and other economic stress factors in the region.
That said, I must say that I feel less sympathy for those who commit suicide by train than for people who kill themselves using almost any other method. They force perfectly innocent engineers to kill them, in many cases causing lasting psychological damage. It's bad enough to kill yourself, but to make someone else live with the memory of it for the rest of their lives? That's contemptible.