Man killed by Subway Train

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114
Man killed by Subway Train

There is a lot of controversy about a photo that ran on the front page of the New York Post yesterday of a man that was pushed onto the tracks and was snapped just before the train hit him.

Should they have published the picture?

A picture of controversy - NYPOST.com

Should the photographer be blamed because he should have done more to save him instead of taking the picture?

Photographer who took dramatic photos recounts the horror he saw - NYPOST.com

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I dont think the photographer is to blame for not helping the man get out. It sounds like he is too far away. It also sounds like it is a crime scene because he was pushed onto the tracks. I would actually think that photographs would be very beneficial for investigation purposes, even if that wasn't the original intent of the photographer.

It sounds like there were people in a much better position to help the man that didn't.

I do find it extremely tasteless to publish the picture, especially as the front page of the paper. Me personally, i don't think it should have been published.

I think there i something to be said about publishing war pictures or pictures of regions of the world that are suffering from things like starvation, sexism or other tragic things. That brings awareness to people of something that otherwise can feel intangible...something that one may have trouble fully realizing.

But this? I don't see a benefit. It just seems like pure rubbernecking in this poor man's most tragic moment in life. How awful.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I'm going to echo what Kim said.

I don't blame the photographer and I don't necessarily blame others as those trains move very fast there is a very likely chance that no one could help him as well as also maybe putting themselves in harms way.

The photo in the paper is sad and awful and should not have been put there.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Came back to add that I just read that the train took 22 seconds to arrive w/average speeds of trains coming into the station at about 25 mph.

I think people were just frozen. It's awful.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

"Jessica80" wrote:

Came back to add that I just read that the train took 22 seconds to arrive w/average speeds of trains coming into the station at about 25 mph.

I think people were just frozen. It's awful.

I heard that too. 22 seconds is enough time I think to probably save him but admittedly i think I would be in shock and also scared. I mean, he grabs on to you and if you don't get him on out time, is he going to take you down with him accidentally? And when you see that someone just got shoved onto the tracks, how likely are you going to want to stand near the edge of the platform? Is that psycho guy who did it still there? Is he going to shove me in to?

Anyone who would have saved him would have been a hero. But I don't know if I'm ready to blame anyone for not saving him. While 22 seconds is long enough to save someone...its not a lot of time to make heroic decisions.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

I saw someone mention that if he had ducked under the platform there is enough space there that he probably could have lived. He was probably himself so shocked and scared that he didn't realize that in time.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I agree Gloria. I'm sure there was probably some way to get away from the train potentially but I know I would never think of it in a situation like that.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

I can't blame anyone for not doing anything either. It's not enough time to process what's going on and what to do. I'm terrible with on-the-spot huge decisions.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

I think if the people had a little more time to react they would have helped him, it was tragic that it happened just as the train was coming in. It's hard to be brave when there is a Subway train racing toward you.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

My dad did make a good point to me tonight. He said individually we may not react quickly to a situation but what are the chances that a group doesn't act together. Good point. I have seen groups gather pretty quickly for urgent situations so gave me something else to think about.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

22 seconds is not enough time to expect someone do save him. I think if I though I could save someone I would, but 22 seconds would not be enough time to figure out what to do.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I agree that there probably wasn't anything to be done in those few seconds. I don't blame the photographer or bystanders for not assisting the man. But I do have to say that for someone who is running, as the photographer says he was, that is one well centered and in focus shot. Could've just been lucky, could've been the great camera, or a combination, but the photo just doesn't look like it was taken the way he says.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I agree with everyone else. I don't blame the photographer for taking the picture, and I don't blame everyone else for being too frozen to figure out what to do in 22 seconds. But I do think it's really tasteless of the NY Post to publish the picture. I hate the idea of that man's loved ones knowing that picture is out there for everyone to gawk at. So insensitive.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

IDK, it seems to me like 22 seconds is a pretty significant chunk of time, especially when there's a life at stake. I'm typing right now with an online stopwatch in another window and I still have 12 seconds left to holler at others to help save him and get it done. The threat of being dragged down by him isn't so bad if there are others to help. Seriously, try doing this, I'm at three lines of text and just *NOW* hit 22 seconds, and I'm not a very fast typer at all. I think if someone, anyone, had said something, that man might be alive.

Online Stopwatch - easy to use

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I still won't point fingers because I wasn't there but the group scenario is really starting to weigh on me. When a group gets together it can organize quickly and yes no fear of being pulled in.

Ugh...this is such an awful awful situation.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

There is absolutely no way any of you would know what you would do in this situation. 22 seconds is barely enough time to notice what is happening.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
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"Spacers" wrote:

IDK, it seems to me like 22 seconds is a pretty significant chunk of time, especially when there's a life at stake. I'm typing right now with an online stopwatch in another window and I still have 12 seconds left to holler at others to help save him and get it done. The threat of being dragged down by him isn't so bad if there are others to help. Seriously, try doing this, I'm at three lines of text and just *NOW* hit 22 seconds, and I'm not a very fast typer at all. I think if someone, anyone, had said something, that man might be alive.

Online Stopwatch - easy to use

I agree that it was enough time to save him...i actually said that. But when people are afraid, shocked, scared because there is an obvious aggressor in the room, i'm not going to hold anyone responsible for NOT saving him

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

"Jessica80" wrote:

I still won't point fingers because I wasn't there but the group scenario is really starting to weigh on me. When a group gets together it can organize quickly and yes no fear of being pulled in.

Ugh...this is such an awful awful situation.

Admittedly I think the group thing works better when they feel threatened and need to take action to fix the situation. Like a gunman in the room, or if this man who pushed the guy started chasing everyone else around trying to push them too.

But I think self preservation kicks in, even with groups and as a group, they were not threatened, the only one in danger was the man on the tracks.

With the right person present, they could have gotten something accomplished. They obviously did not have the right person present.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I think in terms of a group, many people look to the others in the group to start the action. You take your cues from others and expect someone else to take the lead. By the time people realize no one else is going to, it is too late. I actually think he would have had a better chance if there was only one or two other people on the platform. If there is no one else available, the one who is, is more likely to act IMO.

I think Kim is right. If there had been a natural leader in the room who stepped forward immediatly, then I think everyone else would have too, but instead, no one stepped forward.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Jessica80" wrote:

I still won't point fingers because I wasn't there but the group scenario is really starting to weigh on me. When a group gets together it can organize quickly and yes no fear of being pulled in.

Ugh...this is such an awful awful situation.

In university I wrote a paper on the bystander phenomenon, specifically as to why a group of onlookers to a crime or accident don't assist. There's multiple factors, like fear for their own safety, but mainly it's because everyone thinks someone else will help.

If I were in this situation - watching this man try to pull himself to safety - and I was the ONLY person nearby I admit that I'd feel a lot more responsibility to help him than if I were in a group of people. Does that make sense? I guess I'd quickly feel like the onus was on me and me alone to do whatever I could to help get him off the tracks knowing full well his life depended on my actions.

Joined: 08/17/04
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Oh I get it. Just when I thought more I was thinking of being more shocked that in an entire group no one responded but yes fear and shock definitely take over.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Jessica80" wrote:

Oh I get it. Just when I thought more I was thinking of being more shocked that in an entire group no one responded but yes fear and shock definitely take over.

lol....I know you do. I just mean does it makes sense to anyone that I feel that way. I wasn't trying to make you understand anything that I know you already do!

Joined: 08/17/04
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hahaha :0 too early to do this. Need more coffee!

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

There is absolutely no way any of you would know what you would do in this situation. 22 seconds is barely enough time to notice what is happening.

I agree with this. I'd like to think I wouldn't hesitate to run and grab him and try to pull him out, but who really knows what I would do if I was actually there.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

In university I wrote a paper on the bystander phenomenon, specifically as to why a group of onlookers to a crime or accident don't assist. There's multiple factors, like fear for their own safety, but mainly it's because everyone thinks someone else will help.

If I were in this situation - watching this man try to pull himself to safety - and I was the ONLY person nearby I admit that I'd feel a lot more responsibility to help him than if I were in a group of people. Does that make sense? I guess I'd quickly feel like the onus was on me and me alone to do whatever I could to help get him off the tracks knowing full well his life depended on my actions.

Yeah I heard something similar to this before too, i think it make a lot of sense. And I liked your post....not because I particularly like that we humans behave this way, just that I think it makes sense and is totally accurate.

You know...I feel the need to clarify and all LOL