Skip to comments.Concerns of wearing headphones raised after helicopter death of B.C. student (Heads Up!)
Posted on 05/19/2008 11:22:59 AM PDT by buccaneer81
Concerns of wearing headphones raised after helicopter death of B.C. student
TORONTO - The death of a 23-year-old student who was killed when a helicopter crash-landed on him in the middle of the street is raising questions about how aware people are of their surroundings when outside listening to portable audio devices - such as Ipods and MP3 players.
Isaiah Otieno, from Kenya, was crossing a street in a quiet Cranbrook, B.C. neighbourhood last week when a helicopter struggling to stay airborne suddenly dropped on top of him.
At the time, there were reports that Otiena was wearing ear or headphones and may not have heard the downward spiralling chopper.
While there is no evidence to back up that theory, the speculation is hard to avoid considering the millions of people each day who walk, run, cycle and in-line skate with the ubiquitous ear buds.
When Kevin Guest, a staff sergeant with the Toronto Police, gives streetproofing tips to students, he reminds them to stay alert while wearing earphones.
"If you are going to wear an IPod or headphones or something like that, you keep the level low enough so you can still hear ambient noise," Guest said.
It's a warning Stephne FitzGerald heeds. The 38-year-old works in the music industry and, two years ago, traded in his daily newspaper to listen to tunes on his IPod during his half-hour commute to work in Toronto.
But he says his surroundings are always on his radar.
"If I am walking outside, I don't have it that loud -- you know traffic," he said. "I'm not that comfortable not hearing any outside noises."
The helicopter accident in British Columbia is the latest tragedy to illustrate how people wearing ear or headphones outdoors can put themselves at increased risk.
In 2007, a student in Grimsby, Ont. was killed while walking along train tracks. He failed to respond to the train's repeated whistles and was wearing his MP3 player earphones.
Also last year, a student in-line skating while wearing headphones in Windsor, Ont. slid under a tractor-trailer he failed to notice until the last minute.
In Australia, police have placed ads that show a teen lying on the ground - MP3 player splayed beside him - with a chalk outline around his body. The ads followed a campaign by a woman whose 16-year-old daughter was struck by a tram in 2004. The teen was wearing headphones.
Last year, New York Senator Carl Kruger's bill to ban the use of IPods, cellphones or other electronic devices while crossing the street was defeated. It was motivated by the death of a 21-year-old Brooklyn man who was listening to an IPod when he stepped in front of a bus.
While there are no laws in Canada dealing with the use of headphones while walking, it's illegal to wear them while riding a bicycle in both British Columbia and Quebec.
Like something out of a Warner Bros. RoadRunner cartoon.
The death of a 23-year-old student who was killed when a helicopter crash-landed on him in the middle of the street is raising questions about how aware people are of their surroundings when outside listening to portable audio devices - such as Ipods and MP3 players.
Like it was the students fault. What was the pilot doing snorting cocaine?
Guess he didn’t see this growing helicopter-shaped shadow all around him...
Seriously, though, it’s a point worth making to stay aware of your surroundings. But man, how loud do you have to have your bloody headphones to not hear a train whistle right behind you?
I know the last time a helicopter almost crash landed on me I was darn glad that I wasn’t wearing any headphones.
And another thing, this can all be traced back to rock and roll music. This kind of thing never happens to country western listeners.
Darwin Award for this idiot.
I always look both ways when I cross the street, just like Mrs. Magillicutti taught me back in Kindergarten. But it is Left and Right. Looking straight up is not part of the program.
I’ve got BU students that are oblivious to the fact that there’s even a traffic light, let alone that it turned green 5 seconds ago and they’re NOW walking into the intersection with cars coming at ‘em.
Every day I go through that intersection.....every day some student walks into traffic without looking.
There is a time appointed for every man to die and THIS was that young man’s time. If a helicopter is going to crash on top of you, there’s probably not much else you can do about it.
If a friggin helicopter falls on you, somebody’s pulled your number - period.
Headphones or not.
This was an issue 40 years ago with transistor radios and headphones.
I see it all the time too, people totally oblivious to their surroundings. I call it “plugged in and tuned out.”
“While there are no laws in Canada dealing with the use of headphones while walking, it’s illegal to wear them while riding a bicycle in both British Columbia and Quebec.”
That doesn’t make much sense. It seems one would be able to get out of the way of a falling helicopter much quicker if he was on a bicycle than walking.
If Canada considered the increased risk of falling satellites, earthquakes, tsunamis, and starving polar bears, I think prohibiting IPods would be much easier.
Ridiculous. Even a deaf person would be fully aware something was wrong if helicopter dropping out of the sky on them, just from the wind and vibration. And imagine how loud the music would have to be to block out the sound. You can hear helicopters for miles. Let’s just pass a law that you can’t wear headphones under helicopters.
>> This kind of thing never happens to country western listeners.
And rightfully so. We C&W fans already have enough achy-breaky heartaches. Don’t need no busted chopper (fallin from the sky).
I agree, however...What are the chances of getting hit on the head while walking past a ballball stadium, let alone have a helicopter fall on you?
I mean, really
This all pre-supposes that the falling helicopter was making enough noise to be heard in time enough to get out of the way, anyway.
That’s not necessarily the case. Or, even being heard, that it would be a sound that would generate enough alarm to look around and then, probably too late... up.
And yes, when a helicopter lands on someone's head and kills them, we have to call it a Chopper.
This article is only remarkable in the reporter attempting to draw a connection between a truly out of this world, freak accident and a routine issue.
Honestly, this should be in The Onion.
By that time, it's to late
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