Black Friday is notoriously known for being chaotic with people queuing at the entrances and rushing to the back of the shop to snap up that massively reduced TV deal limited in number. Pushing, shoving, and trampling have all been widely documented in the news with people getting seriously injured or getting killed in the chaos. One woman in southern California reportedly even used pepper spray to wipe out her competitors in order to get an Xbox.
The site, Black Friday Death Count, counts that 7 people have died on the infamous shopping day, but some of these are traffic related accidents perhaps caused by a lack of sleep or shootings that weren’t necessarily Black Friday-crazed-shopping related.
Here we take a look at the 2 of the most horrific Black Friday deaths in an effort to raise awareness of the ludicrous nature of these fatalities, which could have been easily avoided.
1) 2011: Target in West Virginia
Walter Vance, a 61-year-old pharmacist collapsed whilst shopping during the Black Friday sales at a Target in West Virginia. Many of the other shoppers, however, did not notice Mr. Vance and trampled over him in attempt to gather more deals.
Thankfully, an emergency room nurse, who was also shopping at the time, found Vance and took him to the hospital where he later died. Could his death have been prevented had other shoppers took the time to stop and help him sooner?
You can read more about this story from the New York Daily News here.
2) 2008: Wal-Mart in New York
Perhaps the most heart-breaking of stories: A Wal-Mart employee by the name of Jdimytai Damour, aged 34, was trampled and killed when an out-of-control mob rushed through the Long Island store’s doors on the morning of Black Friday.
Amongst the madness, many other employees were also knocked down, but they were able to get to the top of some vending machines to avoid being trampled. Others were seriously injured, including a woman who was 8-months pregnant.
The manager of the store noted how the people “took the door off the hinges” and trampled Damour to death right in front of him. Even the CPR officers who arrived to help the man were being trampled by the mob of shoppers. At only 34-years old and in perfect health, Damour’s death certainly could have been prevented. You can read more about the tragic event here.
Whilst the term ‘Black Friday’ refers to when stores go ‘into the black’ or into positive numbers given the volume of sales that day, it can also be a dark day where greed seems to overtake common human decency.
Absolutely no person’s life is worth losing over a discounted TV. And, whilst most of the Black Friday shoppers out there are indeed well-natured, let’s not get caught up in that mob frame of mind and let’s all just remember to be especially kind and respectful to those around us.