Friday, January 12, 2018


It's horrible enough when someone chooses to commit suicide by getting in front of a moving train, or deliberately trespasses on railroad tracks without expecting a train to come. This evening, someone was hit by a New Jersey Transit train at my regular train station, Kingsland in Lyndhurst, because he was standing too close, with his back to the tracks, and his headphones on.

The articles I've found (here's a second, and here's the other) say he was critically injured, so I don't know if he's still alive as I'm writing this, but it's a tragedy. For him, for the engineer and conductors and passengers aboard the train that struck him, and to a lesser extent for the commuters who were delayed during rush hour by the incident and its police investigation. I like to listen to music on my iPhone, too, but I don't drown out the rest of the world and ignore my surroundings. I'm sorry for the victim, but this accident could've, should've been avoided. I've taken the train to and from Kingsland Station thousands of times, with earbuds in and without, in rain and snow as well as sun, distracted by my phone and as alert as a lert, alone and with others, but never once have I come close to being struck.

I hope he will be OK. And I hope this obsession with distraction lessens soon.

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