In a very short period of time, there were three very strange car accidents on the East End of Long Island, two of them involved old men driving off of a pier and succumbing to the freezing cold water. And another accident involved a man driving on the wrong side of Route 27 at very high speeds, and crashing head-on into a car carrying three people. He also died, and the passengers of the other car are alive but in the hospital.
Gann Road in East Hampton, which is the location of the East Hampton commercial dock where locals frequently bring their fishing rods and cast off, was filled with emergency vehicles on January 4 when a resident of East Hampton, drove his car off the ledge and crash landed into the harbor. [expand]
He was driving a 2004 Subaru and when police responded to the scene, they found the man to have drowned. Many have speculated that he committed suicide. His caretaker in East Hampton told police that he thought that the victim was potentially suicidal.
The day before the accident in East Hampton, another man did essentially the identical thing with his car. The previous Tuesday, a Hampton Bays man drove his car off the Shinnecock Canal ledge and into the frigid water. Witnesses saw the 2001 Lincoln crash into the water and called police, who responded to the scene and attempted a rescue. His body was recovered, but after about two hours at Southampton Hospital, he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses at the scene and who saw the accident take place saw the car swerve off the side of the road and then smash through a bench before it leaped into the air and hit the water. The police officers that arrived at the scene attempted CPR before the man was transported to the hospital. But it was just too late.
Many in this incident are also speculating that it was a suicide. Although nobody has any proof other than the fact that it would seem like a deliberate thing to do if you wanted to kill yourself.
The final accident, which is the most troubling in terms of speculation on suicides, was a horrific scene. At 7:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, pure tragedy struck a family of three when an East Hampton man, for some reason that nobody knows why yet, got on the wrong side of the highway on Route 27 near Westhampton Beach and began driving his car at speeds near 80 miles per hour, according to witnesses. Witnesses who were driving along the road and were lucky enough to dodge the vehicle hurdling down the highway immediately called police, but it was too late. The man crashed his car directly into another, completely destroying his car and killing himself, while seriously injuring three people in the opposing car. Many have speculated that this accident was a suicide as well. There is still no word yet as to whether or not the man was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, but the many witnesses that reported him driving on the wrong side of the road at such high speeds suggests that he had, at the very least, a clear enough mind to operate a car at 80 miles per hour on the highway in the wrong direction. We may never know.
One thing we do know, however, is that a 50-year-old man from Bridgehampton was trying to kill himself, and he was arrested for it on December 20.
The man drove his car to Southampton Hospital after changing his mind while attempting to commit suicide. He had deliberately inhaled poisonous chemicals. When he drove to Southampton Hospital, a HazMat team was required to disperse the poisons. He stated to police that while he did not change his mind about committing suicide, but that while attempting to commit suicide with the chemicals, he was in an isolated area, they did not do the job, so he drove to Southampton Hospital.
It is hard to speculate why there have been so many possible suicides as of late, but according to statistics, they have been rising dramatically across the country and one of the major reasons has to do with the flailing economy. The same condition has occurred in other countries where men go through financial booms in their lives and then go bust. In Russia, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, suicide rates skyrocketed. In Japan, suicide became almost a way of life.