March 9, 2009

"She didn't have to go like that"

Pinned to the metal grating of an MBtA escalator that clenched her scarf and hair, 82 year old Helen Jackson lay dying while many commuters walked past her to the exit. 

Watching helplessly as a life slips away

commuters walked past her toward the exit, either unaware of the dire circumstances or unwilling to get involved.

A few good Samaritans intervened. One slammed the button that stopped the rising escalator. Another pleaded for any sort of help - scissors or even nail clippers to cut her free. Amid the muted chaos, a municipal security officer just outside the station radioed an emergency, then waited by his car for paramedics to arrive.

Moments mattered, and in the end, as one middle-aged man crouched at the top of the escalator, holding Jackson's hand while urging her to keep breathing, her grip loosened, her hand fell away, and she died. She was pinned so tightly to the escalator grating that the man couldn't fit his fingers between her scarf and her neck.

Condolences to her family.  "She didn't have to go like that"

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 9, 2009 10:21 PM | Permalink