Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: Have you ever seen anyone die? Particularly violent deaths?

  1. #1

    Have you ever seen anyone die? Particularly violent deaths?

    Last night, I witnessed the death of two people. They died in one of the most horrific ways that you can die - they burned to death.

    I'll try to make this brief - I work in a restaurant (I'm in undergrad, that's why I don't have a planning job). I'm at a table in the front of the restaurant, taking a table's orders. I'm facing the front windows of the restaurant, which face out onto an intersection. As I'm writing down the orders, I hear a loud explosion (if you've ever heard a transformer explode, it sounded exactly like that). I look up and see a car COMPLETELY engulfed in flames. Everyone in the restaurant heard the explosion and crowds around the front windows to see the burning car. A cook from the back runs outside with a fire extinguisher. A police car was already in the area and so within seconds, the cop was out of his car and rushing towards the burning car. The cop beat the cook to the car. Just as the cop was running up to the car in an attempt to rescue the driver, another small explosion occurs and the cop somehow manages to escape being burnt himself. He staggers back and realizes there's nothing he can do. The cook does the same. This is a gasoline fire, and it's simply too dangerous to even get close to the car.

    I, along with many other people in the restaurant, watch in horror as a silhouette figure appears amidst the flames. It's the driver. He's waving his arms frantically, trapped inside the raging inferno. He's waving his arms and moving his body but is unable to move. He is completely engulfed in flames, as is the entire vehicle. After about five minutes or so, he quit moving, and I saw his head slump over, and I knew he was dead. The fire department arrived a few minutes later but by that time it was too late, and all that they could was extinguish the fire. There was nothing that could be done.

    I've never seen anyone actually die before, and last night I saw someone literally BURN TO DEATH right before my eyes. I saw him burn alive, then perish after being burnt to a crisp.

    It was quite disturbing to say the least, and very difficult to get back to my work. Though I was upset for the rest of the night and this morning, by the time I headed back to work earlier tonight, I was in the best mood I've been in in a long time. Why? Because I was SO grateful to be alive. I realized how fleeting life is, and how quickly it can be all over.

    Just to give you a little background information that I found out later through news reports and through talking to people who knew the victims - the accident occured when a white pickup truck rammed into the rear of a black sports car (the car that burned) that was sitting at a red light. The white pickup truck was being pursued by police in a high-speed chase. There were two occupants in the car that burned (though I could only see one from my angle). They were two teenagers heading to the prom. A makeshift memorial has been made at the intersection where this took place, and a large, black, charred spot is still visible on the roadway at the spot where the car burned, more than 24 hours after the accident.

    Have you ever witnessed a person die, particularly a violent or gruesome death? How did it make you feel? Are you religious or spiritual, and if so, how did that play a role in your reaction to such a death?

    Right now I'm OK, like I said, I'm in a great mood just because I'm alive. But damn if this hasn't got me thinking. I want to know what others who've experienced something similar think.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,654
    Blog entries
    5
    A few times, and all were disturbing. The most recent one was here in NJ and it was a horrific single car accident that happened right in front of me. There was a work crew in the grass median quite nearby as well. The driver was ejected out the rear windshield.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,642
    When I was a Firefighter/EMT,
    Iwent on a few calls where they died later or were already dead; caused by automobile, bullets, and cardiac.
    Never saw a burn victim.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327

    Cincinnati Death

    This Bear and a former wife were at a convention in CBD Cincinnati. After the event finished we grabbed a sandwich and headed north on I-75, through the rolling heart of Cincinnati. As we approached the area near the giant Evendale GE plant, I noticed that traffic was stopped. I started to pump my brakes to warn the traffic behind me.

    A semi-truck, hauling powdered concrete, did not stop. He roared past me and slammed into multiple vehicles that were stopped. When my little Toy Truck came to a halt it was too close to the inferno, so I had to back up.....as more traffic was moving toward us.

    I stopped my truck and ran to the three vehicles that were on fire. A woman crawled from one of the vehicles, in a state of shock because she kept crawling when she was well-away from danger. We tried to get to the young man in the burning Camaro, no luck. He died, although we were spared the horrific view that Jazzman had.

    A few months later I had to return to Cincinnati to testify in the trial of the truck driver. When we were in the hallway waiting to go in the courtroom, the mother of the dead young man came over to talk with me. She asked if I had heard her son screaming in the burning car. I had to honestly answer, "No." She seemed relieved that he had died upon impact and not because of the fire. We hugged and cried in the courtroom hall. An event that will stay with me my entire life.

    Hang in there, Jazzman.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    I don't think I have ever seen anyone die. But I spent a lot of time at death's door due to a serious health crisis. During that health crisis, I was diagnosed with "atypical cystic fibrosis" (CF). I now run a small website where I share information about what has helped me and my oldest son (who has the same diagnosis) get healthier. I belong to a number of email lists for people with CF. Almost every single day I read of someone's death from CF or I read horror stories about health problems and medical treatments (like surgeries that did zero to help them and left them mutilated). Reading this stuff generally helps keep my financial problems and what not in perspective.

    Not to belittle your experience, but compared to what I have been through and what I hear so regularly from other people, I kind of think a quick, violent death isn't necessarily so bad. The horror of it seems much less to me than the horror of watching a loved one die excruciatingly slowly and deteriorate horrifically while you are unable to do anything effective to stop this process. Cystic Fibrosis accounts for about 1/3 to 1/2 of all lung transplants in the US and has an average life expectancy of 36 or 37. You have to be down to something like 30% of normal lung capacity to go on a transplant list. After you get on the list, you sit around waiting for someone healthy to die a sudden, violent death so that you might get their lungs and have a second chance at life.

    I'm healthier than that and I am trying to give people some things they can do to try to stop this gruesome process from happening. It's a very hard sell.

    On the up side, a slow death does give one time to try to stop it. But the current state of treatment for CF calls to mind a scene from a Star Trek movie:
    Don't leave him in the hands of twentieth century medicine.
    We're dealing with medievalism here.
    Chemotherapy. My God, what is this, the Dark Ages?
    Sounds like the goddamn Spanish inquisition.

  6. #6
    I stopped my truck and ran to the three vehicles that were on fire. A woman crawled from one of the vehicles, in a state of shock because she kept crawling when she was well-away from danger. We tried to get to the young man in the burning Camaro, no luck. He died, although we were spared the horrific view that Jazzman had.

    We talked about this at work last night (the day after the wreck). One guy said he felt like a coward, because he didn't even attempt to do anything. I said what I honestly felt - which is that there was no way in hell that I was going to even attempt a rescue. Not because I don't care......it's just that 1) I'm not a professional, 2) even the professionals had to back off because it was too dangerous. So although I'm highly upset that I didn't do anything and nothing could be done, I've pretty much accepted that it was OK for me to not do anything. I hope everyone understands where I'm coming from, because a lot of people did feel kind of guilty about not being able to help and just sitting around watching someone burn to death. With that people said, you have my utmost respect for going on and trying to rescue some people. I couldn't imagine. If that makes me a coward, so be it.


    A few months later I had to return to Cincinnati to testify in the trial of the truck driver. When we were in the hallway waiting to go in the courtroom, the mother of the dead young man came over to talk with me. She asked if I had heard her son screaming in the burning car. I had to honestly answer, "No." She seemed relieved that he had died upon impact and not because of the fire. We hugged and cried in the courtroom hall. An event that will stay with me my entire life.

    Again, yesterday I was talking to a guy who was sitting at the bar at work who was talking about the accident. He said, "I hope those kids died instantly. I hope they never knew what hit them, and I hope they never felt any pain." I didn't have the heart to tell him that that's not what happened. I saw it for myself (well, I saw the driver at least, never saw the passenger) - he burned alive for five minutes before he died. He died a slow, painful, agonizing death.

    One of our managers at work (who was not there that night) got a little upset at us constantly talking about the wreck and said, "hey, you should be glad he left this hell on earth. And besides, it only took him 5 minutes to die." He didn't get it - 5 minutes of being BURNED to death is an eternity. If i'm on fire for 5 SECONDS, that feels like forever, I'm sure.


    @ Michele Zone -

    Yes I've read a little about CF. From what I understand, only a few short years ago, CF patients were expected to only make it to puberty, but now it's common for them to reach their 30s or even their 40s (I think, correct me if I'm wrong). So that's really good to know, that advances in medical technology have taken place to prolong the life of CF patients. Nonetheless, I'm sure living with the disease is difficult to say the least, and I can't begin to imagine what it's like. Apparently despite the advances in technology, it's still hard to deal with, to put it mildly. But it gives you an appreciation for life that you might not have for life if you were young and healthy and thought you were invincible, right? That's how I feel now. Not that I thought I was invincible, but let's face it - when you're young and healthy and generally not living a risky lifestyle, you don't think about death much. So it can be easy to take life for granted. That accident served as a huge wake-up call for me to life live to the fullest, as cliche as it may sound.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    @ Michele Zone -

    Yes I've read a little about CF. From what I understand, only a few short years ago, CF patients were expected to only make it to puberty, but now it's common for them to reach their 30s or even their 40s (I think, correct me if I'm wrong). So that's really good to know, that advances in medical technology have taken place to prolong the life of CF patients. Nonetheless, I'm sure living with the disease is difficult to say the least, and I can't begin to imagine what it's like. But it gives you an appreciation for life that you might not have for life if you were young and healthy and thought you were invincible, right? That's how I feel now. Not that I thought I was invincible, but let's face it - when you're young and healthy and generally not living a risky lifestyle, you don't think about death much. So it can be easy to take life for granted. That accident served as a huge wake-up call for me to life live to the fullest, as cliche as it may sound.
    My situation is unusual in that I have a mild form (still nearly died in my thirties) and I am getting well when that is not supposed be possible. Yes, the CF community REALLY celebrates birthdays in a way that I don't see anywhere else. It's a different culture from the whining about "how old I am" stuff you see elsewhere (even with people in their twenties, I hear whining about how old they feel). In about the last year, I have seen a post or two on an email list stating that when their child was born, the life expectancy for CF was 18. The child in question was turning 18 and the current average age of survival is now around 36. I'm 43 and I think I have many good years ahead of me. Because of my late diagnosis (at age 35), I think my best years are still ahead of me. Through online forums, I am acquainted with a couple of people who have it and are in their 70's. They are both very picky about what they eat, very proactive about addressing health problems, and very well read on the subject. Everyone I know who is doing better than expected essentially fits that same profile. Yet doctors go around routinely telling patients to essentially accept the inevitable and that there is nothing they can do about it. I think it amounts to "criminal negligence".

    If you read people's biographies, a lot of very accomplished people faced death or faced a serious personal problem of some sort that helped them get over fretting about stupid stuff and get on with having a life. I found it very freeing to spend so much time at death's door.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    in a meeting
    Posts
    8,424
    Jazzman - that is a horrific sight you witnessed, I'm so sorry for everyone involved - burning to death must be one of the most painful ways to die - I am glad you are working so well at healing as a witness

    my brush is far less violent:

    when I was in the 4th grade, I used to go to the old folks home to visit one day a week - I think it was part of school or Girl Scouts - there was this one guy who had been estranged from his family - he was a stock broker, very successful - he used to have me read his stocks to him and then various newspaper stories from the Wall Street Journal - he taught me a lot about relationships and regret - he knew nobody visited him because he was an SOB to people in his younger days and we talked about it a lot - this was before people were hooked up to monitors in old folk's home too - so one day I was reading a story with the paper up so I couldn't see him and then I felt the room go very still in an odd way and then a slight wind hit the paper and it caused me to put the paper down and I saw that he was just gone - I knew immediately he had died - so even though he was Jewish I still did the Catholic prayer of the Act of Contrition and blessed his forehead and got the nurse - as soon as I got into the car with my Mom, I burst into tears...

    that stuff stays with you but the healing makes you more aware of people, that life is not simple and in the end, it's a whisper for some and a fiery storm for another - may we all be so lucky and go in our sleep

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    Jazzman - that is a horrific sight you witnessed, I'm so sorry for everyone involved - burning to death must be one of the most painful ways to die - I am glad you are working so well at healing as a witness

    my brush is far less violent:

    when I was in the 4th grade, I used to go to the old folks home to visit one day a week - I think it was part of school or Girl Scouts - there was this one guy who had been estranged from his family - he was a stock broker, very successful - he used to have me read his stocks to him and then various newspaper stories from the Wall Street Journal - he taught me a lot about relationships and regret - he knew nobody visited him because he was an SOB to people in his younger days and we talked about it a lot - this was before people were hooked up to monitors in old folk's home too - so one day I was reading a story with the paper up so I couldn't see him and then I felt the room go very still in an odd way and then a slight wind hit the paper and it caused me to put the paper down and I saw that he was just gone - I knew immediately he had died - so even though he was Jewish I still did the Catholic prayer of the Act of Contrition and blessed his forehead and got the nurse - as soon as I got into the car with my Mom, I burst into tears...

    that stuff stays with you but the healing makes you more aware of people, that life is not simple and in the end, it's a whisper for some and a fiery storm for another - may we all be so lucky and go in our sleep


    Wow that's still crazy. Especially knowing that he was not well-liked.

    If you know me, you know that i can definitely be a butthole to people sometimes. But on Saturday, after having witnessed that wreck, I was nice to EVERYBODY. I was genuinely happy to be alive, and found it rather pointless to get angry at people or hold grudges against people, because no matter what the issue was, it seemed trivial.


    My situation is unusual in that I have a mild form (still nearly died in my thirties) and I am getting well when that is not supposed be possible. Yes, the CF community REALLY celebrates birthdays in a way that I don't see anywhere else. It's a different culture from the whining about "how old I am" stuff you see elsewhere (even with people in their twenties, I hear whining about how old they feel). In about the last year, I have seen a post or two on an email list stating that when their child was born, the life expectancy for CF was 18. The child in question was turning 18 and the current average age of survival is now around 36. I'm 43 and I think I have many good years ahead of me. Because of my late diagnosis (at age 35), I think my best years are still ahead of me. Through online forums, I am acquainted with a couple of people who have it and are in their 70's. They are both very picky about what they eat, very proactive about addressing health problems, and very well read on the subject. Everyone I know who is doing better than expected essentially fits that same profile. Yet doctors go around routinely telling patients to essentially accept the inevitable and that there is nothing they can do about it. I think it amounts to "criminal negligence".

    If you read people's biographies, a lot of very accomplished people faced death or faced a serious personal problem of some sort that helped them get over fretting about stupid stuff and get on with having a life. I found it very freeing to spend so much time at death's door.

    I had no idea there were people with CF in their 70s. Wow. And this one article I read talked about the same thing you talked about - they interviewed one woman in her 30s who had been diagnosed with CF at birth - they told her parents she'd never make it past her 4th birthday. By the time she did, medical advacements allowed her (according to the doctors) to make it to puberty, but that would be it. By the time she reached puberty, the doctors told her she could make it to her 20s, once again, due to medical advacements. She said by the time she was 18 she quit listening to the doctors, and now she's 35 and still alive and kicking. I can imagine that CF patients would indeed have a completely different outlook on life, particularly on the issue of aging and getting older.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    I was in the first Gulf War. Although I was not directly responsible for killing anyone, I followed the cavalry as they swept through Iraq into Kuwait. I saw enough dead, sometimes burned bodies to spend several nights not sleeping well. That is a horrible way to go.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I was in the first Gulf War. Although I was not directly responsible for killing anyone, I followed the cavalry as they swept through Iraq into Kuwait. I saw enough dead, sometimes burned bodies to spend several nights not sleeping well. That is a horrible way to go.


    You know, and that's something that I thought about as well. I felt like perhaps I was overreacting - after all, there are many people serving in the military or who are otherwise involved in or in the vicinity of armed conflicts and wars all around the world in which grisly sights like what I witnessed are commonplace. I'd imagine that being in someplace like Iraq or Afghanistan right now, seeing a car explode and burn while people are trapped inside is a fairly ubiquious sight.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    When I was 14 or 15 I glanced out at the lake behind our house on a weekend day, at a ski boat anchored 50 feet or so off our dock. Just as another ski boat came by very fast and clipped the first boat. A man at the back of the first boat fell overboard and I yelled to my parents who called the cops. The man was pulled from the water (his kids were on the boat) and taken by helicopter to the hospital but he died. He had hit his head on the propeller and drowned. Some guy from the victim's insurance company wanted me to testify in court about what I saw, but it was so fast, I couldn't identify the boater that killed the guy.

    Eight or ten years ago I picked my kid up from school and less than a block away, a guy was lying on the ground, on the right of way of a busy 2 lane road (dozens of people must have seen this), and another guy was kicking him repeatedly in the head. I pulled into a shopping center a couple blocks up and called 911 but never heard back and saw nothing in the news. Months later I read a report of a body found in a creek under the road in that exact location. I was so freaked when I called the cops, I was shaking and could barely talk; I knew the guy was being killed but I guess the 911 people didn't take it seriously. Apparently nobody else called them.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    When I was 14 or 15 I glanced out at the lake behind our house on a weekend day, at a ski boat anchored 50 feet or so off our dock. Just as another ski boat came by very fast and clipped the first boat. A man at the back of the first boat fell overboard and I yelled to my parents who called the cops. The man was pulled from the water (his kids were on the boat) and taken by helicopter to the hospital but he died. He had hit his head on the propeller and drowned. Some guy from the victim's insurance company wanted me to testify in court about what I saw, but it was so fast, I couldn't identify the boater that killed the guy.

    Eight or ten years ago I picked my kid up from school and less than a block away, a guy was lying on the ground, on the right of way of a busy 2 lane road (dozens of people must have seen this), and another guy was kicking him repeatedly in the head. I pulled into a shopping center a couple blocks up and called 911 but never heard back and saw nothing in the news. Months later I read a report of a body found in a creek under the road in that exact location. I was so freaked when I called the cops, I was shaking and could barely talk; I knew the guy was being killed but I guess the 911 people didn't take it seriously. Apparently nobody else called them.


    That's horrible, especially the second story. Me and a friend discussed this last night - to what extent should bystanders play (if any at all) in helping and/or rescuing people from life-threating situations? I was taught growing up (like many kids from urban areas) that the best thing to do is mind your own business, and don't get involved with that which does not involve you, simply because it poses a threat to you, and chances are you're not willing to die or put yourself in harm's way for the sake of someone you don't even know (of course this kind of thinking is what gave birth to the whole "Don't Snitch" mentality). But then again, what's the alternative? To live with something like that on your conscious?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Comer, GA
    Posts
    570
    Sorry to hear your story.

    As a high school senior I was among the first to arrive at a headon collision involving five of my classmates. One car was said to have been going 110 mph when it happened.

    The passenger of one car was slumped over and sounded like he was choking. I reached in and lifted his head a little, and he resumed breath.

    I know now you are not supposed to touch folks if you are not trained, but if you are within arm's reach of a drowning man do you reach for him or just watch.

    I stood, bent over for what seemed like a long time keeping this fellow's breath for him, as his blood ran down both my wrists. His feet appeared to have penetrated the floorboard. The driver shreiked in pain the whole time, while one back seat passenger just sat there in a daze.

    After all the ambulances got there I staggered away, was never interviewed, it was such a busy scene. The one I helped died en route of internal injuries.

    The same year (1966) I drove a Corvair too fast in passing, lost control, and left the road in a classic Ralph Nader spinout. Car demolished, I and passenger without a scratch, on the ride home we were among the first at a GTO's spaghetti wrap-around of a hundred year-old oak.

    I reached in and touched the dead lone driver. He wasn't cold yet, but there was no way he was living.

    Ever since then I have driven like your grandmother.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    fringe:
    One of the deadlier roads in the US goes to NTC -- National Training Center -- in The Mojave Desert. (I think it is called Fort Irwin, but I routinely got the one in Kansas and NTC mixed up when I was still married to a soldier.) And the road is owned by the county, I think, but mostly used by soldiers commuting to work if they don't yet have quarters on base. So it's not well maintained. The base is about 40 miles or so from the nearest town and some folks live more than 70 miles away because Barstow isn't much of a town. Some general mandated that a white cross mark the death of everyone who died in a car wreck on that road. In places where multiple people died in one car wreck, there are multiple crosses. It's a spooky experience to drive on it. I don't know if it worked to reduce speeding, like it was intended to do. But your story reminded me of it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    Sorry to hear your story.

    As a high school senior I was among the first to arrive at a headon collision involving five of my classmates. One car was said to have been going 110 mph when it happened.

    The passenger of one car was slumped over and sounded like he was choking. I reached in and lifted his head a little, and he resumed breath.

    I know now you are not supposed to touch folks if you are not trained, but if you are within arm's reach of a drowning man do you reach for him or just watch.

    I stood, bent over for what seemed like a long time keeping this fellow's breath for him, as his blood ran down both my wrists. His feet appeared to have penetrated the floorboard. The driver shreiked in pain the whole time, while one back seat passenger just sat there in a daze.

    After all the ambulances got there I staggered away, was never interviewed, it was such a busy scene. The one I helped died en route of internal injuries.

    The same year (1966) I drove a Corvair too fast in passing, lost control, and left the road in a classic Ralph Nader spinout. Car demolished, I and passenger without a scratch, on the ride home we were among the first at a GTO's spaghetti wrap-around of a hundred year-old oak.

    I reached in and touched the dead lone driver. He wasn't cold yet, but there was no way he was living.

    Ever since then I have driven like your grandmother.

    Yeah after the other night am driving the speed limit as well.

    You know, I want to go into transportation planning. This incident has got me thinking a lot about traffic safety, and about how I can, as a transportation planner, increase traffic safety and reduce the number of accidents on roadways. It's something that I'm really interested in now; perhaps I'll do some research on it.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,258
    A little more than 25 years ago, I had just picked up my son from elementary school and was headed home when we came on the scene of an accident that had just happened. An elderly driver had passed out at the wheel, left the street, hit two teenage girls on the sidewalk, and then ran into a tree. The girls were lying on the ground in such grotesque postions that there was no doubt that they were dead. The driver was slumped over and hanging half-way out of the door of his car. We didn't see the accident happen but were among the first on the scene, well before emergency responders even though there was a fire station within 1/4 mile of the accident. I have never been able to get that image out of my mind. I mentioned it awhile ago to my son who is now in mid-30's and found that he still has vivid memories of it as well.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,604
    I spent my early teen years in the Republic of Panama', this was while Noriega was wreaking havoc on his own people. *Reminds me to start a thread on why the US trains dictators*

    Anyway we had not lived there long and were driving along when the traffic, such that there was, came to a stop to watch some local la guardia aka cops that think themselves military commandos interact with some guy. I have no idea what started the problem but some how they set the man on fire right there on the side of the road, not 20 ft from our car he screamed *very briefly thank god* and thrashed around for what seemed forever then he got still all a ball of flames.

    You NEVER forget the smell, as horrible as it was to see the man die and the violent horrible way it happened the smell...wow you instinctively know its the smell of death.

    The second time was driving on I95 in Richmond, right downtown in front of the hospital 95 does this rather nasty little snake move and traffic is always going 70+ and that's way over what you should do with the screwy banking and 18 wheelers. Anyway this black Bronco goes zipping in and out of traffic just as we get to that section of road and the woman looses control *I could see her and her long blond hair in profile as the car went sideways*. It flips again and again, her arm comes off and out of the car hurled up into the air like a toy, traffic slows way down and tries to just get the hell out of the way so the 18 wheelers don't hit you as they cant slow down fast enough. the Bronco slams into the Jersey wall and an 18 wheeler hit it full on. There was no chance that woman or anyone who may have been with her could have lived. That was a hellacious drive home to NC and I still break out in a cold sweat every time I go into downtown Richmond on 95.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  19. #19
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,733
    Yes. Yes I have.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Cyburbias Brewpub, best seat in the haus!
    Posts
    2,668
    Jazzman, 5 minutes of mind numbing pain suck. It sucks more that the couple in the car hadn't done anything to deserve it. The bummed out feeling will come, but you are already dealing with it.

    Nobody can blame anyone for not charging into a chemical or liquid fire. Or any kind of fire for that matter. It's not like you only had to walk over some coals.

    If you ask what kind of death is best or worst, I guess that's all in how you think of it. 5 minutes of pain, may seem lucky to months or years of also excruciating pain. The day my heart gives in, I will have a few minutes of horrible pain. Personally, that will be better than the years of suffering I watched my father spend on his way out.

    Just be glad your alive, and don't waste the time you have on silly stuff, like thinking work is the end all and be all of existence or that there is always time later on to spend with your kids or get stuck listening to the music you graduated with for the rest of your life.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,253
    Jazzman, I cannot imagine witnessing something like that. I've seen the aftermath of a violent suicide, but actually watching someone die like that must be difficult. Don't be surprised if you start having PTSD symtoms, and if you do, don't hesitate to seek professional advice.

    Two nights ago somebody jumped from the top of the I-35/Ben White Blvd. interchange in Austin, which is probably about a 16 story drop, landing in the middle of the highway below during traffic in the heavy rain.

    I've witnessed a couple of heart attacks as well, but those pale in comparison to the violence.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Captain Worley's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    275
    Yeah, I saw an eighteen wheeler hit a stopped Mustang, and a Jetta slam head on into an Explorer. Not good.
    Navy collier
    USS Cyclops

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Akron
    Posts
    2,255

    Death

    I was with my father when he died of multiple melanoma.
    WALSTIB

  24. #24
    @ Suburb Repairman -

    I think I'll be OK, especially given that others who've posted on the thread have witnessed things much worse and seem to have lived with it. Nonetheless, I was worried about such things the night that it happened. I really hoped that I wouldn't have nightmares about it, and I didn't (thankfully).

    With that being said, something that I hoped to hear people talk about with this thread was how people reconcile such tragedies with religious beliefs (or are we not allowed to talk about religion on Cyburbia?)

    I'm a skeptic who's spent time studying various books about religion, theology in my free time. Watching the accident, I almost declared myself an atheist right then and there. Almost. Since then, I've asked myself and others the tough questions. Of course, I still have more questions than answers, but in any case I'm really curious as to how people relate or apply spiritual or religious beliefs to situations like this.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,807
    Wow - that's intense!

    I watched my mother and father-in-law die (not at the same time) by their bedsides. Both were pretty peaceful as they were already quite ill, but it was not lacking in drama as the spirit slips from the body (and in one case, the lungs filled with blood that spilled out all over the body and floor - was not expecting that).

    Violent-wise, I saw a car come sailing over a steep hill in my hometown, right in front of my friends house and crash into a telephone pole, completely snapping it in two. The car flip and slid on its roof for another 50 feet. We got to the car as the passenger climbed out and at that time the driver, crushed pretty badly by the roof, was still alive (just gurgling and non-responsive). We got the passenger to the house and called the accident in. Did not go back to check on the driver before the paramedics arrived as the passenger was in a really bad state and needed to be calmed. The driver was dead by the time the paramedics arrived. They had to cut her out with the Jaws of Life. They were teenage girls that had been drinking, but I don't think that ever made it into the report. The passenger was asleep and being that relaxed probably saved her.

    I also saw a fellow classmate get clocked by a car right in front of my house, though she lived. I was riding down a hill on my bike and looked up just in time to see this girl (I was in 9th grade, she was in 8th) step out into traffic without looking. A car was right there, nailed her, sent her up in the air and she came down hard on the windshield. The driver screeched to halt and the girl slid off the front of the car and into the middle of the road just as I pulled alongside them. Man that was dramatic. She was in a coma for two days, shattered her entire leg, broke her jaw and cracked a pelvis. But she lived and is healthy as of the last time I saw her (a good 20 years after the accident).

    No flames, though. Flames sound horrid. I'm glad I did not see that...

    As for how I reconciled this, I'm not sure what to say. I am not particularly religious, which is not to say I am not concerned with larger spiritual issues (I just don't feel comfortable with organized religion). My mother's death was the most personal and haunting for me. I had endless dreams about her being alive, I had a hard time adjusting to the daily absence (for over a year I saved clothes that needed mending under the assumption that my mother would do it for me) and so on. I did have a feeling for many years afterward that she was somehow around, looking down on me and helping me out. I don't have that feeling so strongly anymore (its been 18 years) but I think about it from time to time. I guess I do have a sense that the spirits of the departed are somewhere out there still, watching us. Witnessing a tragedy where you don't know the people involved is a different ballgame, I think. I was really haunted by the girl getting hit by the car and actually called the hospital a few times to find out how she was doing. I didn't even know the girl, but witnessing the event made me feel very connected to it and her fate. We became friends many years later, but that was just coincidence (and a small town).

    Personally, I am not of the mid to claim that things like this happen for a reason, or that G_d works in mysterious ways or any of that. I find life to be particularly dark and tragic a good deal of the time, but that's the nature of the beast (and the nature of being a conscious being, perhaps).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 09 Aug 2011, 6:12 PM
  2. Replies: 20
    Last post: 01 Feb 2009, 1:41 PM
  3. Bee deaths = food shortage?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 10 May 2007, 10:39 AM
  4. Sudden Deaths and Closure
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 17
    Last post: 07 Aug 2006, 9:32 PM
  5. Replies: 17
    Last post: 25 Apr 2005, 3:43 PM