The Anonymous Widower

Times When I’m Glad I Don’t Own A Car

Today, according to this article on  the BBC web site, the Dartford Crossing has been closed to traffic for seven hours. This article doesn’t say why, but it was a man threatening to jump.  In the end according to this article after four hours of negotiating he jumped and later was pronounced dead in hospital.

I’m not going to question the man’s motives or suggest that the police should have taken more radical or forceful action, but why is it, it’s inevitably men, who climb on buildings and bridges and threaten to jump? I can’t remember an incident, where it was a woman, who was the prospective jumper.

I’m just glad though, that I’m a non-driver, as I can’t remember this sort of incident with trains. Perhaps, the men who threaten to jump are frightened of getting smashed into small pieces by something like a Class 66. Thinking about it, most suicides on the railway seem to be with passenger rather than freight trains. I wonder why? I have travelled on passenger trains with freight drivers and they have told me that many that get killed by freight trains are thieves nicking cable and other things in the middle of the night.

March 10, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Perhaps women are more sensible – or is that sexist?

    I used to drive years ago but sold my car when I moved to Greece in 1983 and never needed or wanted a car in Athens. I didn’t move back to the UK until 2006 and still haven’t bought another car, as Manchester has very good public transport and, as a pensioner, I now travel free of charge.

    Your comments about suicides with passenger/freight trains are interesting and the freight train drivers’ arguments sound plausible. As for those who throw themselves in front of passenger trains, they must be really determined to “end it all”. I believe that, on the London Underground, tube drivers refer to suicides as “woolly jumpers”. It must be very unnerving for the drivers.

    I remember one case of a suicide on the Athens Underground – although it was the older, overground section of the network. The train I was on, which was going from Piraeus in the south to Kifissia in the north, stopped suddenly at Attiki when the power was cut and stayed there for around half an hour with no information from the staff, before resuming its itinerary. Afterwards, I found out that an elderly man had jumped onto the track and that the first the driver had known about it was when he saw a walking stick and a shoe flying into the air.
    When I finally reached the school I was teaching at, in Kifissia, very late and flustered, my students wanted to know if I had “seen the body”! It wasn’t that they were being cruel but just kids, the way they are. That was almost 20 years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

    Anyway, I must say that, like Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory”, I love trains!

    Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 10, 2013 | Reply

  2. It’s because they have bigger support networks according to the Samaritans.

    I know the line to Piraeus well. This is the last time I was there.

    C once did the divorce of a paramedic as I report here.

    Comment by AnonW | March 10, 2013 | Reply

  3. The secret with the Dartford crossing is wherever possible to go around M25 in direction which doesnt require you to use it! Not always possible of course, but we generally manage it – our daughter lives in Dartford.

    Women do jump, I know of quite a few cases.

    Janice – I am in Manchester as well

    Comment by Liz P | March 11, 2013 | Reply

    • Hello, fellow Mancunian!

      Comment by Janice Mermikli | March 11, 2013 | Reply


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