Have you ever watched someone die? Better yet, have you ever watched someone commit suicide? I have, when I was about nine years old. Behind my grandfather’s house, in South Louisiana.

There’s a railroad track that ran back there, and every day the freight trains would rumble past. Of course this was back when the trains didn’t slow down when they came through town. Those trains would start blowing their whistles when they got close to town, and you just best better get out of the way.

I don’t remember what day of the week it was, but I remember it was a sunny morning; during the summer, and my brother and I were out in the backyard, playing. We noticed this woman walking down the railroad tracks. Now this was nothing strange to us, because we had seen hobos on those railroad tracks for a long time. Sometimes we’d see two and three of them every day.

But this was no hobo woman. She was kind a well-dressed, had a cane, hat, nice dress on; even looked like she was dressed for Sunday go to church. That’s why we found it kind of funny that she was walking on the railroad track.

But then we heard that first whistle … And we looked at each other and thought, “she best get-ten off the railroad tracks.” We watch for a few seconds but she didn’t indicate she intended to move. We went back to playing for a bit and then looked back up to see where she was. low and behold she was still walking down the railroad tracks like there was nothing going on, and then we heard that second whistle blow. We knew where that train was. It weren’t far at all.

My brother and I started jumping up and down, waving our arms, and screaming at that woman, she best better be getting off that railroad tracks. We knew she was too far away from us for us to reach sure if we tried running after her.

Our mother stuck her head out the back door to see what we were scream about, and we pointed the woman out on the tracks. She heard that train just uh coming, and ran inside and call the police department.

About that time the front of that locomotive come into view. The engineer had already slammed on the brakes, but when you have 300+ card behind that train there is no stopping that train in that short amount of distance. We could see the sparks flying and smell the metal melting off of the front of that train as it tried to come to a screeching halt. But all we could do was hope, and we knew even that was not going to happen.

The crazy thing about it, was that woman never turned around one time, but I know she could feel the rumbling in the ground from that train as it was barreling down upon her. We had to be over 100 yards away, and we could feel it.

When that train hit that woman, it sucked her up underneath just like the waterspouts sucking up water. When the police got there all they found were little bits and pieces. Those metal wheels spit her out like a food processor.

We never found out anymore about who she was or what happened or why she may have been there. My mom may have found out more but she never pass that info along to us. But it sure was something standing there watching that woman and that train come barreling down that railroad track and just sucked her up underneath.

I have never forgot that…