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Passenger Trains > A Day in the Life of a Fool


Date: 11/27/19 16:51
A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: GenePoon

...his last day:

One of the last sentences said by the 44-year-old man
struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Longwood Friday was shouted to a friend as the two
walked to a neighborhood pub: “Let’s race the train!”

Alexander Javier, the 24-year-old friend, made it across the tracks. Todd Keller did not.

The Longwood Police Department released details about Keller’s death Wednesday afternoon.

According to the incident report, Keller and Javier had been drinking at Connolly’s Pub earlier
in the night and had gone to Javier’s apartment for awhile before deciding to head back to the pub.
Javier told police Keller challenged him to a race, and the two men ran toward the railroad crossing.
After Javier crossed the tracks, he looked back to see a train rapidly approaching Keller and he
yelled at Keller to stop, the report said.  Keller continued running, and Javier witnessed him being
struck by the train.  Keller was killed on impact, said Adam Bryant, spokesman for the Longwood
Police Department. 

Witnesses said the railroad crossing clearly warned a train was approaching, with flashing warning
lights and lowered railroad crossing arms, and the train was visible. One witness said she heard a
“bang” after she watched Keller run toward the tracks and disappear from sight, according to the incident
report.   After the accident, the train slowed to a stop at the Longwood Sunrail Station. Javier ran to Connolly’s
Pub to call for help.  Police who investigated the scene said personal items belonging to Keller were
scattered around the tracks, including a broken watch band and a folding knife.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/crime/os-ne-man-struck-killed-amtrak-train-longwood-20191127-kbxjmqlumba5lktwt447mxv3le-story.html

Prior thread:
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4907549 
 



Date: 11/27/19 18:50
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: IanH

It's truly sad we live in a world of idiots, where they think that for a few brief moments, they are invincible of the world around them.



Date: 11/27/19 21:04
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: wpamtk

I had two pedestrian fatalities at the same crossing in front of Fresno City College a couple of years apart. Idiots doing the same thing. Now there's an underpass there, so I guess they accomplished something.



Date: 11/27/19 21:55
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: roustabout

Very similar to an incident at Junction City, Oregon, witnessed by friends and fellow coworkers who were the crew of a train sitting in the siding waiting for Amtrak to go by.  Some guys came out of a nearby tavern and thought they could beat a 79 mph Coast Starlight. with similar results.



Date: 11/28/19 03:12
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: andersonb109

And the family will probably take legal action against anyone they think was at fault besides the individual who died (note he wasn't killed by anyone). 



Date: 11/28/19 05:06
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: Juniata

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And the family will probably take legal action
> against anyone they think was at fault besides the
> individual who died (note he wasn't killed by
> anyone). 

Yeah; Connolly’s Pub had better “lawyer up” pretty quick as they almost certainly will be sued.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/28/19 09:17
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: cchan006

An average man runs at a speed of about 12' per second.

Locomotives are about 10' wide, so in theory, it takes an average man about 0.83 seconds to clear the width of the train. It'll probably take longer for someone intoxicated.

A 79 mph train covers about 97' in 0.83 seconds. To simplify, it takes 1 second to clear the width of the train, and the train covers 115' in that 1 second. 

Average length of an automobile is about 15', so the train has to be at least 8 car length away for a "close call." That's quite a distance, if you're on foot. Think football, and that's a long pass, 38+ yards.

Point of my useless mind exercise is that I'm still alive after posting this, even if I get snarky comments for this from TO members. I can call these guys idiots, or rant against lawyers, but we won't learn anything from that.

People who understand behavior will know that being 24 years old is a big factor in taking useless risks. Don't need to research, just examine the folly of your youth, provided you aren't ignorant and think you were "smart" and immune to these kinds of things. Even with alcohol being a factor, too bad the 44 year old didn't grow up and got mixed up in youthful folly.  (He shouldn't have challenged for the race)
 



Date: 11/28/19 09:24
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: dcfbalcoS1

        Doing some minor calculations of my own here and I find that I was over ther entire situation before I finished reading the story. Not crude, just have no feeling for drunks who do away with themselves in such manner. 



Date: 11/28/19 09:26
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: yorknl

> Yeah; Connolly’s Pub had better “lawyer up”
> pretty quick as they almost certainly will be
> sued.

Probably so. But it'll have a decent defense so far as such things go: the deceased was headed TO the tavern, not FROM it, when he opted to die. And he'd already demonstrated an ability to successfully cross the track earlier when he left the place to go home.



Date: 11/28/19 12:35
Re: A Day in the Life of a Fool
Author: GenePoon

I appreciate your post and calculations.  I read it as being the 44 year old's folly...lubricated by ETOH.

As for the calculations, when you figure that the "runner" was impaired by alcohol and so wasn't running as fast as "average," may have had to step over rails, and that a Genesis locomotive is 70 feet long, give or take inches, if the train was a locomotive-length away when he ran in front of it, his chances of survival were really bad.

The 24 year old survived because he reached the tracks sooner.


cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> An average man runs at a speed of about 12' per
> second.
>
> Locomotives are about 10' wide, so in theory, it
> takes an average man about 0.83 seconds to clear
> the width of the train. It'll probably take longer
> for someone intoxicated.
>
> A 79 mph train covers about 97' in 0.83 seconds.
> To simplify, it takes 1 second to clear the width
> of the train, and the train covers 115' in that 1
> second. 
>
> Average length of an automobile is about 15', so
> the train has to be at least 8 car length away for
> a "close call." That's quite a distance, if you're
> on foot. Think football, and that's a long pass,
> 38+ yards.
>
> Point of my useless mind exercise is that I'm
> still alive after posting this, even if I get
> snarky comments for this from TO members. I can
> call these guys idiots, or rant against lawyers,
> but we won't learn anything from that.
>
> People who understand behavior will know that
> being 24 years old is a big factor in taking
> useless risks. Don't need to research, just
> examine the folly of your youth, provided you
> aren't ignorant and think you were "smart" and
> immune to these kinds of things. Even with alcohol
> being a factor, too bad the 44 year old didn't
> grow up and got mixed up in youthful folly.  (He
> shouldn't have challenged for the race)
>  



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