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November Rain

Fatal accident or tragic mental health episode?

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A few days ago, during the late morning hours of Veterans Day, a 53-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair was killed after he was hit by a train at an Austell railroad crossing. The only update since then has been to release the man's identity and report that he lived nearby.

An initial investigation indicated that the man attempted to cross the tracks by going around the crossing gates as the train approached. Witnesses told officers that the train horn was blowing and Norfolk Southern said the railroad crossing was equipped with gates, bells and lights that were all in working order.

I don't have any evidence to make any accusations, however, this does give me a hunch. What are the odds that the man was a disabled veteran, possibly with mental health issues, who deliberately entered the path of an oncoming train?

In today's society, there are many people with mental health issues who no longer want to live. Too frequently, family and friends are left in shock, saying if only they had known. Would you be able to recognize the signs of a suicidal person?


Following are some of the possible warning signs that a person may be at risk for suicide:

  • Excessive sadness or moodiness: Long-lasting sadness and mood swings can be symptoms of depression, a major risk factor for suicide.
  • Sudden calmness: Suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
  • Withdrawal: Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities also are possible symptoms of depression. This includes the loss of interest or pleasure in activities the person previously enjoyed.
  • Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
  • Dangerous or self-harmful behavior: Potentially dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
  • Recent trauma or life crisis: A major life crisis might trigger a suicide attempt. Crises include the death of a loved one or pet, divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, loss of a job, or serious financial problems.
  • Making preparations: Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home. Some people will write a note before committing suicide.
  • Threatening suicide: Not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it. However, every threat of suicide should be taken seriously.


Recognizing Suicidal Behavior

SPL: Help Someone Else

How The 5 Steps Can Help Someone Who is Suicidal

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You Know... that is ABSOLUTELY Possible.

Sad if that was the case.


Honestly have not been following


Prayers for family of the deceased and all who were a part of this.



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It’s a mental health issue now for sure.  The conductor and engineer on that train will have the view of him and his wheelchair vanishing under their windows in their minds for the rest of their lives.  It will haunt them as it does any crew who has someone die in front of their consist.  

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