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View Poll Results: Your opinion:
Darwin Award winner for dying in a stupid, avoidable way. 58 75.32%
Victim of a tragic accident, nothing more. 19 24.68%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Miss Deaf Texas killed by train...

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/15/mis...xas/index.html

Note my emphasis...

(CNN) -- Deaf beauty contest winner Tara McAvoy was walking along the railroad tracks from her Austin, Texas, home to her mother's workplace, text-messaging family and friends, when a train struck her, according to the Austin Police Department.

A Massachusetts-born Texan, who liked to quote "Don't mess with Texas," the 18-year-old was going to represent the Lone Star State at the Miss Deaf America Pageant in Palm Desert, California, this July.

It was one of many pageants McAvoy had entered, "both in the hearing community and in the deaf community," said Claire Bugen, superintendent of the Texas School for the Deaf, on Wednesday. McAvoy was a 2005 graduate of the school, where she played sports and acted in theater.

"She was a beautiful, bright, young deaf woman," said Bugen.

The Austin Police Department received a 911 call from Union-Pacific, which owns the train, at 2:18 p.m. Monday, said Laura Albrecht, spokesperson for the Austin Police Department. (Watch as witnesses describe accident -- 1:33)

"Our understanding is that she text-messaged the family, and yes, the family members were going to pick her up," Albrecht added.

McAvoy was walking northbound along the railroad ties, with her back to the train as it approached, said Austin Police Department detective David Fugitt. "We have information that she was text-messaging family and friends" at the time, he added.

A horn sounded, but "they weren't able to get a response" from her, Fugitt said.

"At that point, they activated their emergency braking system, but they weren't able to stop in time."

A snowplow -- commonly referred to as "cattle-guards" for pushing items away from the tracks to avoid train damage -- was what struck McAvoy, who was estimated to be "no more than a foot" from the tracks, Fugitt said.

"The snowplow extends approximately 16 inches on each side from the train," he said, and was mounted to the front engine of the train.

McAvoy died at the scene from "multiple traumatic injuries," Fugitt said.

Fugitt said there were witnesses who had heard the horn sound and that the police department was actively seeking anyone who had seen the accident occur.

An investigation is under way with Union Pacific and the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office, Fugitt said. He said the Austin Police Department was awaiting information from Union Pacific on how fast the train, with its 24 cars and two engines, was going.

McAvoy's funeral is set for Saturday morning in Austin.

In addition to her schooling at the Texas School for the Deaf, McAvoy briefly attended the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, which is affiliated with Gallaudet University, in Washington. A profile on its Web site said McAvoy was class president, a cheerleader, on the prom committee and played basketball.

"She will be sorely missed," said Laura Loeb-Hill, director of the Miss Deaf Texas Pageant, in an e-mail Wednesday. "Tara represented Texas with dignity and pride."


------------------------------------------------------------------------

First of all, anyone making fun of the situation will be slapped harshly.

But here's the thing:

If I was blind, I wouldn't walk home down the middle of the interstate (or along the side of it, for that matter)... so why the hell would she think it was an ok idea to 1. walk down a set of railroad tracks, and 2. not be paying any attention to her surroundings, in such a dangerous situation?

So my question to you is this:

1. Darwin awards candidate for dying in a totally stupid way, or
2. tragic accident?

Sure it's something we wish didn't happen, sure she was a great example for people in general, but great to her community... but come on. That's not a mistake. That's kinda stupid, in my opinion.

Last edited by analog; 03-15-2006 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Option 1. It's not paticularly smart for anyone to be walking the tracks, but for a deaf woman, it's just plain stupid. From what the article says, though, she wasn't directly on the tracks, but instead was a foot or so away, so perhaps she thought she'd be fine if she didn't perceive a train coming?
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's sad, but it seems really, really avoidable. WTF, was deafness a recent thing for her? It doesn't make any sense.
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Man, I'm the only tragic accident vote. I don't feel like looking for a bunch of examples, but I'm guessing a lot of people die every year doing rather mundane things, and frequently doing things that you would retrospectively say "stupid idea." Fact is, usually we all get away with it. This time, she didn't. I wouldn't be surprised if someone in that situation would take some risks like this, just in order to specifically not feel limited by their condition.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DEAF BEAUTY CONTEST WINNER? Honest to god...
Sorry about the tangent, but sheesh.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You'd think she'd feel the vibration of the train getting closer at least. She may not have a sense of hearing but should at least have some sense.
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toaster126
Option 1. It's not paticularly smart for anyone to be walking the tracks, but for a deaf woman, it's just plain stupid. From what the article says, though, she wasn't directly on the tracks, but instead was a foot or so away, so perhaps she thought she'd be fine if she didn't perceive a train coming?

And not all trains have the plows on the front!, but even if that train didn't have one it would have been damn close!
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm a sighted hearing person and I don't go walking down the fucking railroad tracks because trains can kill a person.

I can't even express what kind of dumbass goes for a walk on the tracks, texting on a damn phone, with the certain knowlege that they can't HEAR a train should one come.

C'mon, she was 18, and she wasn't deaf yesterday. It's a TRAIN. You have to be a certified dumbass to get hit by one. They don't sneak up on you. They only ride on tracks. They can't hop off the tracks and decide to suprise you midway through your local Wal-Mart. You have to be the idiot who walks into thier way, and fails to notice the thousands of tons of noisy, rumbling steel thundering it's way towards you.

Generally, you have quite a bit of sight warning before the moving wall of steel gets to where you are.

Unless, of course, you're walking right next to the tracks, focused on a cell phone, with full knowledge that you can't hear one coming. C'mon. She was 18. That's sad and so damn avoidable it hurts.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It was totally avoidable. No question. I'd love to know what she was thinking walking anywhere near railroad tracks.
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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stupid, sad, but especially stupid
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Maybe this says something about the caliber of entrants in the miss deaf texas pagent?
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Unfortunate that she's dead but 100% avoidable. Death by stupidity is my vote.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm I the only one who is a bit bemused that there is a 'Miss Deaf' contest to start with?

Anything beyond 'Miss Nude' seems a waste of effort.
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Old 03-16-2006, 06:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have to wonder...since she was walking about a foot from the tracks...why didn't she "feel" the rumble of the train coming down the tracks?
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
I have to wonder...since she was walking about a foot from the tracks...why didn't she "feel" the rumble of the train coming down the tracks?
That was my thinking. I can feel trucks go down the road-I'd think a train vibration would be a lot stronger.
I agree, it was a senseless way to go, along the lines of the two recent 'couple found naked and dead in car' incidents of this past week.(The second occurred in New York, he was 21, she, 28)
A foot is damn close-look at your hand, it's probably 8-10 inches long. Even without that 'plow', she put herself in mortal danger. This is one of those more tragic 'wtf was she thinking or was she at all' moments.
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:28 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I used to walk along the tracks on a gravel road that probably was a second set of tracks at one time. A few times, the train was surprisingly quiet and was almost next to me before I knew it was there. Walking on the tracks, or a foot away from them is not a good idea, especially if you are preoccupied with something else or have an impairment like deafness.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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As someone deaf .. it does take extra work to pay attention to your surroundings in order to be safe ... Everybody makes mistakes .. we don't know enough information about the situation to make judgement calls - but I personally would have expected to feel the train ... and would have chosen somewhere else to walk to begin with.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:51 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm deaf too and fuck man, that is absolutely stupid. First off all, I wouldn't be caught dead walking along train tracks. Second of all, what deaf person has a fuckin cell phone?

*cell phone rings* Hold on a sec, I gotta take this one
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Second of all, what deaf person has a fuckin cell phone?
Wasn't she using it for text messaging? I can see that. Plus...my phone has a vibrate feature on it, so I don't piss people off in meetings. So...why not?
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:10 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I was under the impression that deaf people were more sensitive to vibration. I used to live by the tracks and my whole house would shake when the train rolled by.

Even so, I don't feel comfortable walking down tracks. Even the old tracks -that haven't been used in years and are overgrown make me feel a little uncomfortable. Then again; for some reason I am completely paranoid when it comes to walking near large moving vehicles.

I used to have a book about the darwin awards. Some of it was funny in a freudenshade kinda way... but some of it was strictly bad taste -like kids dying because they didn't know any better. In this case, if the deaf girl was recently deaf... if she wasn't sensitive to vibrations or perhaps the train didn't emanate vibrations... This is a tragedy.

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Old 03-16-2006, 09:11 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by amonkie
As someone deaf ..
I didn't know that. Ever try out for the Miss Deaf America Pageant? You'd be a shoe in.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I think 'don't play on the train tracks' is a pretty basic lesson one should learn, reguardless of their ability to hear or not.

Yes, its a shame, yes its a Darwin Award.
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:27 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm I the only one who is a bit bemused that there is a 'Miss Deaf' contest to start with?

Anything beyond 'Miss Nude' seems a waste of effort.
Amen. Sounds to me like something that started as empowerment for disabled people turned out to be a big joke.

I hope that Miss Blind can avoid the same fate by not walking along train tracks.
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I can't imagine why anyone would walk along tracks, deaf or not. How often do we read or see news stories about people being killed while walking along train tracks. Typically, these people are usually intoxicated so their judgment is impaired. Walking along train tracks is just a bad idea, period.

For me, I wouldn't go so far as to nominate this for a Darwin Award, but I would still vote it as being avoidable.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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didn't the train engineer see the sash? when will it end? trains and beauty pageant winners just don't mix.
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm I the only one who is a bit bemused that there is a 'Miss Deaf' contest to start with?

Anything beyond 'Miss Nude' seems a waste of effort.
More annoyed than bemused. It's not like deaf people are less attractive than normal people.
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Wasn't she using it for text messaging? I can see that. Plus...my phone has a vibrate feature on it, so I don't piss people off in meetings. So...why not?
Yeah but to have a cellphone only used for text messaging seems a bit expensive and a waste of money

Imagine how worn out her keypad must be...
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:40 AM   #28 (permalink)
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More annoyed than bemused. It's not like deaf people are less attractive than normal people.
Nah, it just builds a sense of community. Sort of like having a homecoming queen. She's not necessarily the prettiest girl in the whole city, just in your school.

Oh, and feelgood - re: cellphones for textmessaging....I assume you're familiar with the Japanese? From what I understand, those cats are something crazy about sending a text message. As in, they're getting thumb-specific carpal tunnel syndrome and whatnot.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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It is a sad thing but I gotta go with #1.

I used to live less than 100ft from a railroad track. All along those tracks was a wide sandy area that made a perfect sandbox. I used to play there often. But even as a 6 yr old I knew enough to stay a little ways away from the tracks. There were small bushes along the tracks and I made sure I kept any of those bushes between me and the tracks. I knew if those bushes were fine there would be no train that would be wide enough to hit me. Even so I would move back even farther when any trains did come.

To walk along the tracks like that was sheer stupidity, even off to the side a small bit.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:32 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by feelgood
Yeah but to have a cellphone only used for text messaging seems a bit expensive and a waste of money

Imagine how worn out her keypad must be...


The T - Mobile side kick is INSANELY popular with the deaf crowd around me - having the other capabilities like web surfing and email helps offset the cost... plus we can also get rebate discounts through certain companies/organizations.

I am deaf and use a cell phone that is compatible with my hearing aid.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:40 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I am deaf and use a cell phone that is compatible with my hearing aid.
Wow you learn new stuff about people here everyday. But you can still hear a little with the hearing aid in right?
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:07 PM   #32 (permalink)
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No .. I just like having a really expensive piece of machinary in my ear all the time


With my hearing aid out, I am oblivious to the world .. case in point ... I can sleep in a room full of kids screaming at the top of their lungs and playing.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:28 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I played on tracks when I was a kid...I never had a train come up on me. I also know that when I was 18, I wasn't the brightest bulb and did some pretty stupid things.

I don't think that if I was deaf I'd walk along tracks, but you never know what was going through her mind. I think this is pretty much a tragic accident.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:23 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add that I doubt this was an accident. Based on the facts I've seen and facts I know of the young woman, I would say that this is indeed a tragic loss of life. However, don't tag her as a dumbass. I'm confident that she knew exactly what was going on.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:25 PM   #35 (permalink)
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However, don't tag her as a dumbass. I'm confident that she knew exactly what was going on.
So you're saying you think she commited suicide?

As a member of the "Young and Stupid" community I have to say that I find walking down train tracks to be a rather relaxing activity, since they usually go through areas that have very few people in them, gives me a sense of isolation. Of course while I'm doing this I do keep at least some of my attention towards making sure I'm not about to be turned into a 300 ft. bloody smear along the tracks.

I think she probably walked along the tracks alot, and just got a complacent because she had done it so many times before with no problems. And this time a moment of inattention came back to bite her in the ass.
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:52 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by amonkie
No .. I just like having a really expensive piece of machinary in my ear all the time


With my hearing aid out, I am oblivious to the world .. case in point ... I can sleep in a room full of kids screaming at the top of their lungs and playing.

So your deafness is kinda look becuase if you don;t wanna listen to someone just take it out...me I can't do that, sometimes I wish I could!
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:42 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:40 AM   #38 (permalink)
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To me it's all of the above. Stupid, avoidable and sad.

Our family GP died after being hit by a train (years back). He wasn't deaf or blind.

Even smart people often to stupid things - particularly if they are tired, drunk or if it's become a habit. And who knows, she may have been depressed or something.
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:11 AM   #39 (permalink)
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this is orta the equivalent to people wearing headphones while riding a bike...
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:53 AM   #40 (permalink)
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ok..i know ill get castrated for this...but here goes anyways...

anyone thought about the following:

- maybe it wasnt cos she was deaf
- maybe it wasnt cos she was dumb
- maybe it wasnt cos she was stupid
- maybe it wasnt cos it was intentional

but rather it was cos she was blonde?
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