Raffi's Photoblog of Enlightenment

Friday, February 04, 2005

Creativity at its finest

Train crash survivor wrote message in blood

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles man, whose blood-scrawled love message to his wife and family became the most haunting image of a fatal train crash last week, has choked back tears as he thanked his rescuers.

Trapped, injured, and fearing for his life in the wreckage of the suburban Los Angeles commuter train collision, John Phipps, 44, used the blood seeping from his injured head and legs to write "I (heart symbol) Leslie" and "I (heart symbol) my kids" on a nearby train seat.

Eleven people were killed and almost 200 injured in the January 26 crash which was triggered by a car left on rail tracks by a suicidal man who changed his mind. The driver has been charged with murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Phipps was cut out of the wreckage by fire fighters, who were touched by his scrawled message and asked news photographers to take a picture of it for his family.

The photo was widely used in newspapers and on the Internet but Phipps had shied away from publicity until coming forward on Thursday to meet reporters and thank fire fighters. More than 700 people had called the Fire Department wanting to wish the mystery writer well.

"I am here today because these guys deserve the credit. All I did was just lay there," Phipps said, choking back tears.

"I don't know whether I did it because I thought I would not make it out alive or because I was just being a maudlin dope," Phipps said, walking on crutches and wearing a Los Angeles Fire Department cap and shirt.

Fire fighter Bob Rosario, who helped cut Phipps out of the wreckage, said the message was one of the most touching things he had seen in 25 years on the job.

"It is pretty moving that someone in that situation could have the forethought of doing something like that," Rosario said.

Source: Yahoooooo hoo...


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