The Jury Is Still Out

projo 7.2.11 But not according to the ProJo headline writer. While this is a sad story, it does after all involve a 91-year-old woman. Balance is a chronic problem of the elderly with most falls occurring in the home. Also, poor hearing often contributes to being easily startled. Further, the deceased spent several days of rehab in a nursing home subsequent to the accident, and she had asthma. So ‘train wind’ is not yet the proven villain in this event. The Amtrak spokesman gave the reporter the standard ‘incident is under investigation’ statement so we have no idea how accurate the grieving 91-year-old husband was in guessing that the Acela “. . . came roaring through at well over one hundred mph.”  What we do know is that this incident was singular enough to make the front page of the newspaper and just happened to involve a very elderly woman. Let’s hope the inevitable lawsuit does not result in Amtrak being forced to spend funds on barriers and railings and blaring warning systems. Most importantly, let’s hope it doesn’t slow the Acela down. We need to encourage train travel and get cars off the road. (As to the ProJo, the “updated” online version of the story now has a much less plaintiff-friendly headline.)

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