Wal-Mart Worker Dies in ‘Black Friday’ Trampling
As seems to happen every year, a trampling incident has occurred as a result of a “Black Friday” sales promotion gimmick. This time, a man has died.
A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said. The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him. “He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”
A 28-year-old pregnant woman was knocked to the floor during the mad rush. She was hospitalized for observation, police said. Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said. Three other shoppers suffered minor injuries, cops said.
Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk’s life. “They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. “People were still coming through.” Only a few stopped. “They’re savages,” said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. “It’s sad. It’s terrible.”
This isn’t even the first such incident at a Wal-Mart. While people ultimately take the risk of such obvious possibilities into their own hands, store management has some obligation for such predictable results.
Alas, I’ll repeat my prediction of a few years back at a similar but less tragic incident in Richmond involving laptop computers: “I’m guessing no future Nobel Prize recipients were involved in this incident.”