A suicidal man killed himself by jumping off the 11th floor of an apartment building -- and tragically he landed on a 5-year-old girl who was walking with her parents. The incident happened in Seoul, South Korea, a country that reportedly has one of the highest rates of suicide. The man did not leave a note though he was being treated for depression. The little girl just happened to be directly below him when he took his plunge.
He landed directly on the girl, and she was taken to the hospital with a skull fracture, but she later died. Tragic.
I can't imagine what it must be like to be this girl's parents -- to be walking with your 5-year-old, and then suddenly someone literally falls out of the sky right on top of her. Horrible.
I sympathize with people who want to end their lives. Although it causes a huge amount of pain to those they leave behind, I will not pretend to understand the despair that engulfs people who commit suicide. I wish all people who do so would think of the impact their decision will have on friends and family, especially children, but people who are that depressed often think the world and everyone in it would be better off without them, and they truly believe that.
But too many times we also hear stories of people using a gun to commit suicide, and the bullet goes through the wall and into someone else's home. You also hear about people taking or trying to take their loves ones with them -- especially children. In March, a baby survived an 8-story fall after his mom strapped him to her chest and jumped out her apartment window. Jumpers who take people out on the ground aren't that uncommon either. This is why it's one of the worst ways to take your life.
I'm not going to give anyone advice about how to kill themselves while thinking about the safety of others. Instead, I just going to encourage people thinking about ending it all to get help. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
This man will never know that he ended an innocent young life when he decided to end his own; and destroyed the life of two adult strangers who did nothing to him. But hopefully others thinking of doing the same thing will see this story and reconsider what they might be planning.
Do you think suicide is dangerous to others?
Editor's Note: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, guns accounted for 50% of all suicides in the U.S. in 2010.
Image via dbgg1979/Flickr