June 4, 2013

Falling Into Glass Doors Can Be Fatal


Glen Brunken, 69, tripped and fell through the glass door of Bob’s Sub & Sandwich Shop in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Although conscious when the ambulance arrived, he died later.

My husband Monte said he taught at Slippery Rock University during the time Monte taught physics there. In fact, both arrived to teach in 1969.


Although Monte retired in 1982 to change careers, Glen retired in 2009.

At the time of his death he walked with a cane. It isn’t known he fell.

Reading about Glen brought to mind a bizarre experience I had while traveling on a Greyhound bus.


Monte had traveled to Berkeley, California, for a 6-week Department of Energy workshop. My children, Sandra (4) and Nolan (2), and I planned on joining him the last week.

Our friends, Shirl and Wayne Murray, drove the kids and me to the bus station in Youngstown, Ohio. We boarded the bus to begin an interesting journey.

Only we didn’t know how interesting it would be.

As we were settling in we noticed a woman who appeared to be drunk. There were some young people seated in the back of the bus, and she was a couple of rows in front of them. I noticed that the young persons were becoming agitated, and the bus driver was noticing the disruption.

I decided to move into the seat in front of them to act as a buffer. The woman’s disruptive behavior continued all the way to the Cleveland bus station.

I was relieved when we arrived there and the woman left the bus. We were going to get off to get a snack, but I wanted to arrange our things before we did. As I worked, the kids were looking out the window. I assumed they were enjoying watching the activity in the bus station.

After finishing my task I turned to gather them so we could get off. As I did so I could see out the window at what they were watching.

And I was mortified.

The disruptive woman was seated on the ground in front of shattered glass doors. Blood was spurting out of her neck.

I quickly distracted the kids as emergency personnel arrived and left with the woman in an ambulance.

As we disembarked from the bus an official said he wanted to interview me concerning what happened. I told him, and said the driver didn’t let the disruption interfere with his driving.

The official told me that the driver was new on the job—and what the driver should have done was to pull over to the side of the road, call into the station, and place a white flag in the bus window.

We never learned what happened to the woman. I often wonder if she lived or died.


In both situations I wonder how hard a person must fall to break the thick glass in entrance doors.



I Lost My Son on a Greyhound Bus


The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus

WP Daily Prompt 3/4/2013: A Story Written Using No “N”, Another With No “E”




1 Comment »

  1. Carolyn, interesting trip and courage to travel with children. I also made a similar trip with my one year son.
    My mother loved riding the Greyhound buses. And liked to sit in back of the driver…to help him drive!~/

    Comment by merry — June 6, 2013 @ 12:32 am | Reply

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