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Suicide at Queens Mall Stirs Alarm

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From NYT:

 

April 8, 2009, 4:58 pm

Suicide at Queens Mall Stirs Alarm

By Sewell Chan AND Mick Meenan

 

Updated, 7:04 p.m. | A woman leaped to her death from the third floor of the Queens Center Mall around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, landing on and injuring a high school student on the lower level of the shopping center in Elmhurst, four stories below. Shoppers screamed and ran. Police officers and the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, arrived to help calm the crowd.

 

Mr. Brown said the woman was in her early to mid-50s and in the company of two teenagers when she jumped. It appeared that she had leaped from near a T-Mobile cellphone kiosk in the center of the atrium, and landed near a Tax Solvers kiosk on the lower level, set up to deal with the busy tax season.

 

The glass barrier over which the woman jumped runs around the atrium on each level. The barrier is roughly waist-high and topped by a curved titanium banister. Police and emergency service workers cordoned off sections of the mall and shut down certain escalators leading to the lower level.

 

The lower level, where the woman landed, was packed with high school students, many of them milling about after school. The injured student was taken to Elmhurst Hospital. He was expected to survive.

 

The student was identified by family members as Derrik Munoz, 17, who attends Amityville High School.

....

The teenager was sitting in one of four leather massage chairs on the lower level of the mall when the woman fell onto him, striking his head, the father said. At the mall, custodians were seen wrapping the four chairs in black plastic to take them out.

....

As police officers patrolled the mall, a security guard on duty on the lower level told Time Warner customers: “Time Warner is closed. If you’ve got a bill due, don’t worry about it. They said they won’t cut off your service today.”

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My parents were there. My mom saw it out of the corner of her eye; my dad was looking right at them when it happened.

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Makes you wonder that maybe this wasn't planned,but a spontaneous act. Something had to happen while she was at the mall to make her commit suicide. Very sad story,hopefully the teenager will make a full recovery. He could have easily been killed.

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Man, I always hated going to the mall, but really... it's not that bad. What I really don't get is if you really feel the need to kill yourself, why do it in a way that inconveniences or can hurt others. If your really bend on ending it all, call 911 and tell them to send the meat wagon to your house. Once you do that, end it in a way that is easy to clean up and won't hurt people. Also, I am kinda surprised that a 3 story fall was fatal. I hope they person who was injured makes a full recovery and can sue the family of the jumper.

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Also, I am kinda surprised that a 3 story fall was fatal. I hope they person who was injured makes a full recovery and can sue the family of the jumper.

They say 3 stories but it's higher than that, that's not standard 3 stories. 3 big mall floors is more like it. Ever look down from the top floor there? It's a long way down...she also came in head first so it shouldn't be surprise.

 

It must be disturbing witnessing someone kill themselves but to have them land on you....I don't know what that would be. She must've did it so spontaneously that she didn't bother to think where she would land...I heard she was with her 2 teenage kids also.

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Ah never having been to that mall I did not know that. Usually a 30' fall is not fatal but if you go head first, then yea.

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Ah never having been to that mall I did not know that. Usually a 30' fall is not fatal but if you go head first, then yea.

 

30 foot fall usually not fatal? You can fall from standing up and it can be fatal!

 

- A

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Ah never having been to that mall I did not know that. Usually a 30' fall is not fatal but if you go head first, then yea.

 

Any jump is fatal.

Lookee, the acceleration due to gravity is 9.81 m/second squared. The force is the mass of the person times the acceleration. That's a great force exerted on that teenager.

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Also, I am kinda surprised that a 3 story fall was fatal. I hope they person who was injured makes a full recovery and can sue the family of the jumper.

 

They say 3 stories but it's higher than that, that's not standard 3 stories. 3 big mall floors is more like it. Ever look down from the top floor there? It's a long way down...she also came in head first so it shouldn't be surprise.

 

I go to that mall all the time. Those are big floors.

 

Kinda morbid here, but you had to figure that someone was either going to jump or be pushed over the railing there. It's very inviting for either of those to happen.

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Any jump is fatal.

Lookee, the acceleration due to gravity is 9.81 m/second squared. The force is the mass of the person times the acceleration. That's a great force exerted on that teenager.

 

Cushioned by himself largely. He didn't expect this and therefore probably wasn't tensed up. Especially if he was sitting in a massage chair as I read on one of the news sites.

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Any jump is fatal.

Lookee, the acceleration due to gravity is 9.81 m/second squared. The force is the mass of the person times the acceleration. That's a great force exerted on that teenager.

 

There was a guy who fell 40 stories and lived, he was and window washer and his partner who was his brother died. There was also a CTA signal maintainer who was hit by a train and fell of the structure (which is about 30 or so feet in the air). He lived but also landed on a car.

As for the poor kid who was this womens landing pad, I hope he gets a nice settlement from the family.

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Being the women's landing pad. I'm sure there is some way that he can sue because he was injured.

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From someone who has seen and treated a lot of high-fall victims, it all depends. It depends on how the person lands, what kind of surface, age, and any other complicated medical problems. From the 4th floor of a mall landing on on her head onto a hard surface will more than likely be fatal; then again, the only thing that is 100% absolute in medicine is that everyone dies.

 

 

That's very true. The angle of the jump must be taken to consideration. The surface, if she landed, would be marble (I believe). If she landed head first, she would most likely have died from a brain injury that resulted from the impact.

Few can heal from such a fall. Most, like you said, would die. The actual definition for death (I have a physiology textbook) is that there is no brain activity essential to keeping the person alive without any medical interference (meaning no machines to put the person on life support; aka brain death), at any angle from which she jumps, she would certainly have inflicted a brain injury on herself.

The teenager though, is the question. The fact that she landed on him is quite fatal. I'm trying to imagine the force exerted on the teenager by the falling woman. Arbitrarily, I will assign the mass value as 57 kg. Thus the force calculated would be 559.17 N. And if that is true, that would be the force exerted on the teenager by the falling woman, according to the law of physics. (There are also other variables to calculate as well)

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