An airport sign in Alabama fell on a mother and her three young sons, crushing one 10-year-old to death and severely injuring both the mother and her two other young sons. It's the kind of tragedy that keeps us up at night because there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it.
Or is there? The reality is, this sign shouldn't have fallen. We can say "oh mistakes happen," but that would be a giant lie. A 300-pound sign shouldn't fall onto a family. A woman shouldn't have to wake up from surgery to hear that one of her beloved sons didn't make it.
Something at this airport was very, very wrong. A similar sign has now been taken down, but obviously, it was done far too late to help this family.
This sign could have fallen down at 3 a.m. when no one was near. It could have fallen at 6 a.m. just after people passed under it. But it didn't. It fell on a family as they stood beneath it.
This is awful and the absolute last way anyone expects to lose a child. We protect ourselves from so much, take vitamins, work out, don't smoke. And yet, an airport sign can come down on your head. Who would have ever imagined this was possible?
The next step is probably a lawsuit, though this is my own conjecture. How could they not sue? In this case, a lawsuit may actually stop things like this in the future. There was something faulty in the way that sign was installed. There had to be. Unless there was an earthquake or some other natural disaster, that sign wasn't installed well.
Isn't that manslaughter? Perhaps people who install signs don't think of themselves as doing life or death work. But I guess this goes to show us that maybe all of us are at any time. All of our work, no matter how mundane it might feel, could really hurt people. Or help people. We pass by signs that stay up every day and think nothing of them. It's not until one falls that we really think about the dangers that could possibly lurk around every corner.
My heart aches for this family. They were just trying to have a vacation and this happens. It's a nightmare scenario for any parent.
Do you think the airport is at fault for this?
Image via hibino/Flickr