Thursday, September 28, 2006

The pedestrian incident

It happened again yesterday. Another suicide.

A woman this time. Near the LaGrange train stop.

I don’t know why I glanced over my shoulder out the window as the train passed where it happened earlier in the morning.

Two men were lifting up what was left of her body in a blue tarp. There was another tarp covering more remains about five feet away.

I hate those tarps.

It’s the third time this year I’ve seen them.
“This train is running approximately 30 minutes late due to a pedestrian incident. We apologize for the delay.”
I used to complain about those inconsiderate folks who insisted on interrupting our lives in the process of ending theirs.

But I can still hear the sickening sound it makes when someone jumps in front of your train – like a wet tree branch against the car.

I don’t complain any more.
Illinois leads the country in fatalities at railroad crossings.

According to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times published back in June, there have been 13 apparent suicides statewide, compared with 18 in 2005 and 11 in 2004.

Here’s more:

“Rail safety experts note that Illinois also has more railroad track than any other state besides Texas, making exposure to train traffic more common. Chicago in particular is the busiest rail gateway in the United States, accounting for one-third of the nation's freight rail traffic. About 1,200 trains pass through the region each day.”
I guess people in states with fewer trains have to figure out other ways to kill themselves.

And for us folks in Illinois, these incidents are indeed pedestrian.
I am listening to: KT Tunstall – Other Side of the World
I am reading: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (fabulous!)
And I am: Loving life