Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest.
There’s a new variation on the selfie “fad” and unfortunately it’s bringing people onto railroad tracks and into harm’s way. They’re taking their own photos while standing on the tracks with a train approaching from behind. There have been several fatalities as a consequence of this newest idiocy in the past couple of months.
This dumb-ass was taking a selfie in front of a passing freight and got a very clear message from the train’s conductor, who stuck his foot out and delivered a clear and, we hope, effective message.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana earlier this week, the driver of a semi-trailer truck was sure he could get around the gates and across the tracks before an oncoming train came through. I can make it, reasoned this mental giant, because it’s just one of the dozen or so freights that come rumbling through here every day at 30 miles an hour.
Oops! He forgot about Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. It’s just once a day southbound, but it’s running at 79 miles an hour. BAM! Scratch one semi. And one driver.
Three days ago in Altamonte Springs, Florida—it’s a bit north of Orlando—an Amtrak train en route from Miami to New York City struck and killed a woman who was walking on the tracks. The engineer blew his whistle and hit the brakes, but . . .
First reports didn’t say what the cause was. The most likely: she was walking on the tracks and listening to music with ear buds in and couldn’t hear the train. Or it could have been a suicide, in which case, it would have been the second one in Central Florida in just the last week.
(I cannot resist noting that the report in the local newspaper said that the engineer was ”honking the horn”. Good Heavens! Who’s writing this stuff?)
And late last week, Amtrak’s daily Carolinian, en route from Charlotte to New York City, got as far as Raleigh, just 170 miles into its journey, where it struck a car sending the woman driver to a local hospital. Same deal: drove around the gates trying to beat the train. Best case scenario: she would have saved less than one minute.
I mean, seriously … what does it take? What are they thinking?