Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last year I killed a man

At 9.45am on Saturday, June 23 2007, I killed a man. A perfectly ordinary man, on a perfectly ordinary summer's day. CCTV pictures show him entering the station, unremarkable among all the passengers going to the West End. He waited at the front of the platform until he could hear my train approaching, then he calmly stepped down on to the tracks and looked directly at me as he waited for the impact...

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Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

This I can totally identify with.... I came this close " " (actual distance) from hitting someone... who also wanted to end thier life.

She did not manage that time... but I will never know if she tried again... nor will I forget her calm face as she looked at me as she lay down....

I still do not know how the train stopped in time... just that it did

Thank you Rachel, for sharing

July 24, 2008 11:33 pm  
Blogger janestheone said...

well yes, thank you for sharing, but why? I'm curious, why?

July 25, 2008 8:33 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

There was no intention to kill so I don't think the driver should feel guilty. Shit happens. I spent a night once with a girlfriend of mine who had taken an overdose. We walked around the bedroom all night and I forced her to drink water and puke, after she had realized she had made a mistake, and did not really want to die. She survived. She is now the mother of two children.

July 25, 2008 1:49 pm  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Not only was this not Vaughan Thomas's fault but it is false for him to say that he killed this man -since he could not have stopped the train in time, and this person consciously used an unalterable fact about what the train was doing to kill himself.

This is not to undermine the reality of the trauma, and my sympathy for how it makes him feel, but still.

Yeah, I know, the truth of things is often boringly lacking in emotional drama and sentimental excess - a thing ill-suited to our emotionally hyped times.

July 26, 2008 10:32 pm  
Blogger anticant said...

This is very sad - especially as there are hospitals which provide "same day results" HIV tests, so there was no need for this guy to have been in such unbearable suspense.

July 27, 2008 6:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two tragedies here -

1) Many train drivers who get into this situation have their lives ruined. Unable to work, alcoholism, drugs, divorce - and yes, suicide...

2) The guy who couldn't wait for an AIDS test died from ignorance. There are walk in clinics in London - one in Paddington - where you can get a full set of STD tests for free, completely confidentially. There is even a test they can do on the spot for AIDS.

The Anon

July 27, 2008 7:54 pm  
Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

Today, I nearly killed a woman

I do not know why she was there, but I do know she was drunk, and she was lucky to just get an open fracture of her elbow.

She will not remember me, shewill remember the injury.

I, however, will never forget her.

I am "lucky" in that, she is still alive, she will recover.

- -

On an intresting side note, this week, my father send me this article in the post... odd coincidence huh?

July 30, 2008 2:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful sparce writing-not a word wasted. Very moving.

August 01, 2008 8:31 am  
Blogger TheOnlineStylist said...

Hi Rachel. I came across your blog whilst browsing through the Alpha Mummy site on Times Online. I read this article first and was moved to say the least. And then, having skimmed down the page I realised you are the Rachel I read about in Grazia who blogged about 7/7... and I think, received flack from someone? I read some of your entries today and think that what you wrote was incredibly brave. Writing can be a great outlet for things that happen in why not express how you feel? Whilst I then felt terrible about moaning about my sleepless nights with my daughter via my blog I also realised that life spins on a dime and we all moan about the trivial stuff before something major happens. Such is life. Well done for great writing and I will be checking in regularly.

August 04, 2008 9:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming to this late, but I was on that train - right at the other end so I was unaware of what happened at the time. It was at Marble Arch (I think), Saturday about 9am, and everyone was very orderly when leaving. After discovering what had occurred, it left me a bit shaken.

I can only sympathise with the driver. My dad drives overground trains up north and a few of his colleagues have been through this hellish experience.

August 22, 2008 11:11 am  
Blogger Tazeen said...

great post ... makes you value lots of things

August 28, 2008 6:36 am  
Blogger Gridlock said...

It's all gone very, very quiet...

And a post went missing, too...


September 08, 2008 2:20 pm  
Blogger Deborah said...

Yes, I noticed that too. Is everything ok?

September 09, 2008 12:20 am  
Blogger kerstin said...

I talked about this subject in my blog post:

Very sad.
Would like to know name of same day HIV test clinic.

September 09, 2008 2:03 pm  
Blogger MarkF said...

Hmm I noticed it as well...

Hopefully all is well...

September 11, 2008 3:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great article.. i love your writings

September 11, 2008 9:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you Rachel??!

We need our fix of your writing!

September 12, 2008 6:17 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...


Thanks v. much for the comments and emails.
Sorry about not getting back sooner.

I'm fine.

Been taking a break from blogging, having holiday time off in August, going to the US for a symposium, attending best friend's wedding, doing the front garden, dealing with leak in kitchen,catching up with mates...

I'll be back blogging again when I've got more time on my hands, but tbh I'm enjoying the break from it at the moment. It's giving me more time to work on other stuff.

My friend has been looking after comments for me for the last 3 months.

Thanks very much for that (you know who you are)

September 13, 2008 4:21 pm  

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