Depending on the circumstances this is either exceptionally tragic or exceptionally stupid. Unfortunately it’s quite likely we’ll never know for certain which one it is.
A rail firm has been fined £1m after a man died leaning out of a train window.
Simon Brown, 24, was killed when he hit his head on a steel gantry on the side of the track while on the Gatwick Express in London in August 2016.
In May, Govia Thameslink Railway admitted a health and safety breach because a sign saying not to lean out was not displayed clearly enough.
The rail regulator has written to firms demanding “immediate action” over trains with these types of windows.
Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, at Southwark Crown Court, said while there was a warning sticker on the door, it was “jumbled” around other notices.
“The signage around the window was confusing,” he said, adding no risk assessment of the windows had been carried out.
I’m sorry, but with all due respect to his honour and to this fellow’s loved ones, if you need a sign to tell you “hey bud, don’t stick your head out the fuckin’ window unless you’re 100% prepared to make a decision you won’t be taking back,” the clearest sign in the world isn’t going to do you much good. In fact it’s a minor miracle that you got dressed in the morning and found your way to the train all by yourself.
If this was an intentional act, taking a steel signal stand to the brain at 61 miles per hour seems like an awful way to go. I can’t imagine what sort of state he would have had to be in at the time for that to seem like the best way out.
I really want us all to just be able to laugh at this big dummy and congratulate him on his Darwin Award, but since he’s described here as a lifelong train enthusiast who worked in the industry, I’m not so sure things are that simple.