Monday, 1 April 2013
Life Ending Arguments
The BBC website today carries a story on its homepage about a young man killed by a train after an "altercation", which the British Transport Police are treating as suspicious. This case looks decidedly fishy and like the young man who died was being hassled, mugged or attacked. The sad and, for me, unfathomable truth though is that many people end up on our tracks and those of Network Rail not because they are being hassled, or because they are mentally ill or pushed or tripped, but because they have just had an argument with their other half. The incident last week at Highbury and Islington on the Victoria line, which some of you may have been caught up in, was just such an event. The woman who ended up under the train had jumped on to the track because she had been having an argument with her boyfriend, who looked on in horror from the platform. Miraculously, she was entirely unscathed, but others have not been so lucky. At Wimbledon last year, this time on the mainline, a man and woman were having a blazing row when she dropped her mobile phone. She followed it on to the tracks after ignoring, in her rage with him, her boyfriend's pleas not to do so, and was hit by a fast train on its way to London. There are several more instances of this I could tell you about, each as sad and frankly incomprehensible to me as those discussed here. All the cases I know of involve women being the ones to get on to the track, and in none of cases were they sectioned afterwards. Is this really something that a perfectly sane person is capable of doing in the heat of an argument? I am certainly no stranger to fierce rows, but would like to think - wouldn't we all? - that it would never come to this.