I don’t want to make jokes here because a man is dead — but you know what happens when a bug hits your windshield on the highway? Basically that’s exactly what happened here, only instead of a bug it was a person and instead of your car it was a train. The body of a 48-year-old cyclist was found splattered on the front driver’s carriage of a French high-speed TGV train, which went undetected for a full 25 miles — until the train pulled into its next station.
As bad as that sounds, TGV trains travel up to 200mph, so you do the math. The Local reports:
Police and the national rail company SNCF were unable to say on Monday whether the 48-year-old man’s death was accidental or a suicide. He was struck by the train on a level crossing in the village of Petit-Croix, near Belfort in eastern France on Sunday, but his body was not discovered until staff and passengers got off at the next stop, in Mulhouse.
“The body was found, stuck to the front right of the train, out of the driver’s vision,” an SNCF spokesman said, adding that an incident of this kind was “relatively rare”. The remains of the victim’s bicycle were recovered by police at the level crossing.
Last fall while over in Europe, my traveling companions and I were waiting for a connecting train in Slough, just outside of London, when a recording of a polite British woman’s voice came over the speakers to the effect of “please step back, the oncoming train does not stop,” and then the Heathrow Express came barreling through at like 100mph — no guardrails or anything — effectively scaring the living sh*t out of all of us. And that train was only going half as fast as the one that killed this poor sucker.
At the time we all joked about how Americans can’t be trusted to have high speed trains traveling through small commuter stations, because while in Europe this kind of thing is a freak accident — idiots over here would be dying and losing their limbs on a daily rate. “Hey, watch me hit the train with this stick!” I’m looking at you, Florida.