real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

first and last black friday

Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede

Friday, November 28th 2008, 9:30 AM

“A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified 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.”

Nassau County Police are still investigating and would not confirm the witness accounts. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. Police did say there were several injuries but weren’t more specific.

Jessica Keyes was among the shoppers. She told the Daily News she saw a woman knocked down just a few feet from the dying worker.

“When the paramedics came, she said ‘I’m pregnant,'” Keyes said.

Paramedics treated the woman inside the store and then, according to Keys, told the woman:

“There’s nothing we can do. The baby is gone.”

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 story hit me on a personal level because one of my sons worked the night shift at Wal-Mart and I could easily have seen him trying to manage the crowd. Many of his co-workers would have done the same thing. I can’t even talk about the woman who lost her baby. So, so sad.”

I had never been shopping on Black Friday until this morning when I drove 30 miles at 5:00am to stand in line at Lowe’s. I could hardly believe what I saw. There were hundreds of, if not a thousand, people waiting for Target to open next door and there was already an ambulance and other rescue vehicles at the Best Buy. The Wal-Mart parking lots were already filled to capacity. I had absolutely no idea that this is what I would see. All I wanted was a Christmas tree I had been waiting to buy on sale and it only took me a couple minutes to put it in the cart and get through the line. This will be my first and last experience in this sort of madness. What kind of a culture do we have that values a bargain so much more than human life?



  Kathleen wrote @

I’ve gone before, when finances were especially tight and saw things were half-priced. That was years ago and it was pretty intense. Grown men domineering a table full of Matchbox cars to add to their collection; people going nuts over socks.

I think the smart way to shop would be online on Black Friday. I don’t need socks that badly.

The news article is just unreal that people would be so oblivious to people being injured and dying. The stores won’t change their policies until the lawsuits start pouring in. It’s a tough year with the economy, but there has to be a better way to meet the expected bottom line.

  Susan T wrote @

That is horrible! I still remember someone being trampled over a “Cabbage Patch Doll” in about 1985….. That sickened me so much, that I don’t shop unless I absolutely need something(groceries, fuel, meds….) for regular living on this day.

Have you heard of “Don’t buy Anything Day”?

And “Whose Birthday is it Anyway?”

Food for thought, but as with most banquets, one must be discerning of the choices offered here.

  Cindy K wrote @

I remembered when a guy got trampled to death at a Who concert while I was still in middle school, I think. I remember being horrified. People looked at it as the fruit of the drug, sex and rock and roll culture and not reflective of the everyone. They can’t blame it on the drug culture anymore.

When I was a little girl, one of the oldest department stores in the country had a “little shopper’s shop” where children could go alone and buy a small gift for a parent and have it wrapped so that the parent would be surprised at Christmas, never seeing the gift. They had to close it down because so much small merchandise was stolen. But now the department store has been closed for at least 10 years now, too.

In ’77, I think, there was a 3 day blackout in NYC, and people looted and pillaged. I would be really left without hope if it were not for the great show of solidarity and care for one another demonstrated at 9/11. I was shocked somewhat, because I expected something more like the ’77 antics, but people pulled together, caring for one another. I heard Ed Koch (the former mayor) interviewed, and he wept.

So that injected some hope into me that God can work in us as a people. I’m sure it will look like something much different than I expect, but I hope for the day when in 50 years or so, people look back with shock at what happened at Walmart. (And I don’t think it will be a Stark Trek “we’ve solved humanity’s problems” kind of thing either. It will be out of common love and respect for others.

A girl can hope.

  Carol wrote @

Unbelievable. Crazy.

I visited that Valley Stream mall with my grandmother many times over the years.

  Lin wrote @

Yes, buynothing is a great site. I plan to blog about it soon.

I have not been shopping on this weekend in over 15 years. I cannot stand it.

This story broke my heart. Man’s inhumanity to man over ‘stuff’. You know the worst? Those folks who trampled will never be found and charged. May God have mercy upon their souls.

  Corrie wrote @

Disgusting. Just disgusting. I cannot understand the animal-like behavior….it confounds me. Also, the utter disregard for life.

I refuse to shop on Black Friday. It is all hype. People waiting in line for hours in the dark to buy crap they don’t need? And much of it is produced in China which really isn’t helping our economy at all.

  katiekind wrote @

That is so tragic and upsetting.

  Kim wrote @

Karen, on the story said that the 28 year old pregnant woman and her baby were both going to be okay. So that’s good at least.

  thatmom wrote @

Kim, I am so happy to hear this!

  emr wrote @

Once, several years ago, I went to Wal-Mart at 5:00 am on Black Friday. Inside it was a madhouse. People were literally climbing up the shelves and throwing things down. I walked out without buying anything and have not shopped on that day since. I don’t need anything that badly.

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