Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Did it Happen?

[via Reddit] Just ignore for a moment that it’s posted on the World Socialist Web Site and read this account of someone who was on the Accordion City subway when someone committed suicide by jumping in front of the train at Dundas Station a couple of days ago:

Then this man in a three-piece suit who was also in the car started saying very loudly that “this piece of trash should have killed himself at home” and that he had an appointment and was going to be late because of this “piece of shit” and now even his taxpayers’ dollars will be wasted cleaning up his “shit-guts” from the station, etc. etc. Well, I couldn’t allow that to go unchallenged so, in a deathly silent and dark, jam-packed car I piped up, “Keep your poison to yourself. We don’t need to hear it. A man is dead. He was a human being.”

Okay, maybe you’ll also have to ignore the hokey writing, the reference to a “three-piece suit” (the Bay Street uniform is two-piece, you sackcloth-wearing commie dolt) and the made-for-TV-movie line “Keep your poison to yourself!” as well.

The question is: did this happen? A quick Google search revealed no news about a subway jumper. Then again, there’s the prevailing meme that the local media doesn’t report subway- or bridge-jumping suicides out of fear of inspiring copycats.

Were any of you there or nearby?

10 replies on “Did it Happen?”

I wasn’t there, but according to the date at the bottom of the post, I should hang out at the station on December 29 to see it happen for myself.

But it is rare for the media to report on suicides, except for those especially horrible cases where a parent takes their child with the. This story from 1999 claims about 20 people jump in front of subway trains each year, with most dying. So it could have happened.

My husband was in the first car of the subway once when someone jumped. He didn’t see anything like that amount of gore — he actually saw nothing and only heard a bump — but I guess it could happen like that.

Hey Joey.. Yes, lots of suicides happen on the subways. I’ve never had the misfortune of seeing one myself but I have heard firsthand accounts of at least five ‘successful’ suicides-by-subway from friends or relatives. An in-law of mine is a subway driver and he doesn’t talk about his experience with it – but he has admitted that almost every driver has had it happen to them. The TTC pays a lot of therapy bills for subway drivers every year.
The media don’t report suicides in general, not just on the subway, due to the unpleasant and personal nature of the death(s), and also to avoid inspiring copycats.

Yeah, wouldn’t surprise me if it did – I had a friend visit Toronto, his first time here and also first time on a subway, he rode up front so he could look out the window…. needless to say it wasn’t pretty.

It happens with the GO trains more often then people hear too – my aunt was on one when it happened.

Lets just leave it as trains + people are not a pretty picture.

Thanks to everyone who’s commented so far!
Sometimes it’s hard to verify the veracity of a story reported on a fringe-ish site that isn’t corroborated by the local media. It could just have easily been an “isn’t capitalism bad / isn’t the capitalist Christmas season bad” sort of rant that happens this time of year. It’s sort of the other side of the “War on Christmas” rants we’re bound to hear soon, if not already.
That’s what I love about you guys — you’re a great and helpful bunch. Thanks again!

Wait a minute. Apparently someone jumped that day. I’m still waiting for corroboration of the comments from the “suit”, given that, as Joey suggests, the source of the story may not be the most accurate. Admittedly corroboration may be difficult to come by, given that we need to hear from someone who was in that particular car or who heard it Nth-hand.

Note that this is one of those claims that cannot be disproved, because even people who were on that very train don’t know what happened in other cars. The only way to disprove this story would be to hear from someone in every car — and how many people know which car they were in?

In Japan, railway companies charge (or sue for) a large ‘delay fee’ against the families of people who commit suicide by jumping in front of trains. It inconveniences a lot of people and as a result compensation is demanded.

i suppose it’s hard hearted to ask someone in such personal distress to consider other people. but honestly my sympathies are with the suit.

You mean the doctor with the hyphenated surname?

She was a doctor at the King’s Health Centre. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she committed suicide just a few weeks before that place was shut down and the founders arrested for fraud or embezzlement or something.

I was waiting on the platform at Queen St a few years ago and a person jumped in front of the train. Young teenager, pacing around, muttering stuff to himself. He was saying stuff to a “suit” (I didn’t check if it was 2 or 3 piece) about breaking up with a girlfriend or something. The suit said something positive about “other fish in the sea” or “things will get better”.

Then as the train came, he jumped in front of it. The train stopped, there was a bad smell of burning, they shut down the train & kicked everyone off to take the bus. The suit was totally shocked and paniced. He kept saying “he was here just a minute ago” and kept looking at the front of the train to see if he was still under there. Very shocking. Happened about 8pm I believe.

And there wasn’t anything on the news that evening. I’m quite certain they don’t publicize that stuff so they don’t give other people any ideas and not to alarm people.

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