A worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Wal-Mart.
A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him."He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."
People pushed right past as the emergency crews tried to revive the worker; they also knocked down a pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital for treatment.
As I've said before, I've been shocked on far too many occasions in my life by the callous disregard for human life, including lives right in front of our noses. (I've been shocked on occasions by some rather astonishingly brave and wonderful things, too, but I would be lying if I said they were not decidedly more rare.) I've seen people literally step over a body stretched lengthwise across the sidewalk on Chicago's Michigan Avenue during evening rush hour—dozens of people, walking around or right over the prostrate figure of a homeless man, on their hurried way home. I stopped to see if he was okay, if he needed medical attention, if he was alive, and people stopped not to help, but to look at me with utter disgust, before walking on. And last year, a man had a stroke and fell and cracked his head open on the train platform in front of Iain during morning rush hour. Iain was the only one who stopped to help this elderly man, staying with him and trying to care for him and making sure he was breathing, alive, until the paramedics arrived.This is why we've all got to be consciously, deliberately, vigilantly all in.We each make a difference in this world, for good or ill. There is no neutral. There is no Switzerland. There is only saying no to the indignities one human visits upon another—prejudice, hatred, humiliation and pain—or saying yes. And sometimes there is only stopping and kneeling and laying your hands on a stranger and putting your own body in between theirs and a herd of the unconcerned. Always, every moment of every day, we must remember that kindness really can be a matter of life and death.[Thanks to Iain and Shaker InfamousQBert, who also sent the story by email.]
Tagged as: death, consumerism, wal-mart, black friday