Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What is the thought process here?

Stupid mom, stroller and train

Some people seem too stupid to me to be parents
I saw this photo of a person pushing a stroller in front of a moving train on one of the railfan forums. Of course it immediately made me think of Katrina Hatton, the young babysitter who failed to prevent a 2-year-old boy in her care from being hit by a train in South San Jose in November 2005. In the picture above, according to the photographer, the train was not moving fast and the telephoto lens did shorten the perspective. But, a wheel could have gotten stuck in the tracks or she could have tripped. It is hard to imagine the consequences.


bkengland said...

Hi Steve:
As one who volunteered a bunch of personal time to research the Hatton case, there's much more to it than meets the casual eye. I'm all for responsible parenting and child care, but faulting Katrina Hatton under her particular circumstances is off base in my view. I'd be happy to share some details with you if you'd like, though the case is complete and no more is likely to come of it, at least not directly.
Bruce England

Steve Sloan said...

I do not think I said anything that was not accurate here.

bkengland said...

Maybe not inaccurate, but perhaps misleading. She wasn't the babysitter; the babysitter split en route and left her in the lurch. And the alternative route to get around the tracks was four miles round trip, far too long to be a good idea with such young kids in tow. One issue that's making the tracks even more treacherous than previously is the introduction of fast moving bullet trains. Folks are taking their risks based on old assumptions, so the number of accidents has gone up all along the peninsula and south bay rail lines. Governments and agencies are responding the best that they can, or so they say, but budgets don't allow them to do all that they acknowledge must be done.

Steve Sloan said...

Apologize all you want for her, but a kid paid for her bonehead call with his life. I was a railroader once, my father was a locomotive engineer for about 30 years. Does anybody think about the impact this had on the train crew? The person who did this was an adult who was in charge of some kids. In my opinion she let those kids down and one of them died. Nothing you said is going to change my opinion. We can't protect everybody everywhere from everything bad that can happen. We have to assume people are going to practice common sense. Crossing a busy double track main line with two tiny kids is not common sense.

bkengland said...

Well, I'm not apologizing in any case. The point is to make the railways safe for *all* concerned, including those who use rail service, and those who have to contend with it as pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. This point has been made, thank goodness, on decision makers at the state and local level. You and I can disagree on the particulars, but I'm glad that the changes stand a chance of being made, but not glad that it's taken several tragedies to make the point.

Steve Sloan said...

No, I do not buy into what you are saying. You use arguments that do not make any sense in this case or this location. This was not a "bullet" train that hit this child, it was a regularly scheduled passenger train on a straight section of track. If the "adult" had been excercising common sense she would not have even crossed this double track main line. Given the nature of the accident it is my opinion she did not look both ways before crossing the tracks.

Why can I claim some expertise? I am a former railroader, the son of a railroader, and I was hit by a train myself in 1977 and survived the experience. I did not see a train coming, it hit me and almost killed me. That was negligence because a person should expect a train at any time on any railroad track. If you try to make every railroad make itself idiot proof you will choke rail commerce and give people the idea it is okay to be stupid.

Look at the woman in the picture here pushing her baby in front of a moving train. Should she think it is okay to do that because it is possible for her to do so?

In my opinion both her and Katrina Hatton were negligent and were putting children in harms way due to their own negligence. That, in my opinion, at best is stupidity at worst criminal negligence leading to manslaughter.