A male worker at a New York WalMart was killed Friday when anxious shoppers trampled him in their rush for Black Friday bargains, witnesses say.
Witnesses to the early morning incident in Valley Stream, N.Y., said the unidentified worker had been attempting to hold back a wave of customers after the store opened, only to be knocked down and trampled underfoot, the New York Daily News said.
He was bum-rushed by 200 people, Jimmy Overby, a co-worker of the man’s, said.
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.
Witnesses claim that before the store was closed, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the worker’s life.
“They were working on him, but you could see he was dead,” said Halcyon Alexander, 29. “People were still coming through.”
A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation, and she and the unborn baby were both reported to be OK, said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau County police spokesman. Four or five other people suffered minor injuries, he said.
Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman at National Retail Federation, said the group knew of no other incident where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.
Wal-Mart is working closely with police, company spokesman Dan Fogleman said.
“The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority,” Fogleman said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this difficult time.”
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
My Two Cents:
This is a tragic event. I heard it on the radio during lunch today and it really put a damper on the day.
For once, a lawsuit is going to be warranted. I hope the family of this employee gets a few hundred million out of Walmart for this. I feel this is totally Wal-Mart’s responsibility to keep their employees and customers safe. I guess they wanted to save a few bucks to avoid hiring some security outside the store. A few employees or security personnel outside the store directing people around would have avoided this.
The other solution is to give out ticket stubs for the sales inside (they do that in Canada). Once all the tickets have been given out…there is less madness. When the doors open, people just take their time entering the store (ticket stub holders have 1 hour to pick up the item).