October 7, 2009

Instant Karma.

Instant Doorma:
"Yeah, my name is Stacy and I am driving toward Ontario, when a car went off into the median at mile marker 22"...
From a very credible-sounding 911 call. (2-minute audio at the link.)
Stacy is actually Melissa Farris, 35, of Caldwell, according to Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood. He says Farris made the call to 911, waited for paramedics to leave, then tried to slip under the closing bay door.

That attempt failed, and instead she got trapped and died.

Farris was a former worker at the paramedics station where she died Thursday. Her call appeared to be perfectly crafted to call paramedics away from the station.
The paramedics drove off looking for the nonexistent accident — as Farris — who, for whatever reason really wanted to get inside — lay dying under their door.

44 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Instant Karma, instant doorma,
instant cowmat!

sammy990099 said...

High-sterical! Doorma! Too funny! Really, Anne, mocking this woman's death, what could be funnier? Thanks for the "pick me up" it made my day!

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, sammy, you wouldn't be sympathetic if a male criminal had been similarly hoist by his own petard.

Ann Althouse said...

Sexist.

Ann Althouse said...

Sexiste.

Lem said...

The work of an engineer is never done.

wv - debri - oh, (i think our wv needs sensitivity training ;)

Bissage said...

Indiana Jones would have made it in.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Canadian building codes must not be up to snuff. An overhead door in a public building (includes fire stations) is supposed to have a device that reverses the direction of the door when an object is detected in th path of the door.

That way, when a crazy person hits the cowmats, the person will not become crushed.

Dogwood said...

The city will be sued for not having a safety mechanism on the door to prevent such an incident.

Many (most? all?) home garage door openers have them, the city will shortly.

Lawsuit in 3...2...1

Ann Althouse said...

Michael, according to the article, she slipped under the level where the beam is and was not detected.

Lem said...

She didn’t believe in going over the fence ..

(curb your enthusiasm)

Dogwood said...

Never mind, Michael beat me to it.

ironrailsironweights said...

Canadian building codes must not be up to snuff.

It was in Idaho.

Peter

Dogwood said...

The beam is supposed to be close to the ground not a couple feet up.

sammy990099 said...

when life hands you lemons - make lemonade. Sometimes ya just gotta laugh Anne.

At least this criminal didn't die in vain. She brought a chuckle (no to mention witty puns) to thousands!

Meade said...

There could be even more legal trouble if the security cam caught the whole thing on video.

Lem said...

My impression is the door was not up to code. In which case a whole slew of red tape broke down. (no pun intended)

Somebody, some building inspector must have signed off on the door.

AllenS said...

I have overhead garage door sensors, and they're 6 inches above the floor. Maybe she was really skinny.

Slow Joe said...

I assume everyone is actually familiar with the door block reverse door mechanism thingie.

It's really easy to avoid, and anyone attempting to sneak in would obviously avoid it.

Though I don't discount the possibility of a lawsuit or a settlement, this lady is responsible for her own sad death. She probably needed help.

I can see this being not her fault if she was truly crazy and the paramedics didn't try to get her some help, but that's not apparent here.

former law student said...

I bet she had left something really really embarrassing there, and was trying to retrieve it. Although her motive might have been to take revenge for being fired, and cause some sort of property damage or theft.

1. She really wanted to get in.
2. She could not let her former colleagues know.
3. She did not want to injure her colleagues, because she waited for them to go.
4. Although she might have wanted to take revenge by vandalizing the place, she apparently did not bring any materials with which to do so.
5. But, she might have wanted to steal from her colleagues for revenge.
6. Had she left something normal (a bust of Churchill she had borrowed from the British Embassy), one of her former colleagues surely would have retrieved it for her.

vw: phreging: what phred did to his CO in Vietnam.

Dogwood said...

Though I don't discount the possibility of a lawsuit or a settlement, this lady is responsible for her own sad death. She probably needed help.

Agree she is responsible for her own death, but it is also clear that the doors did not comply with building codes.

It is easy to step over the beam, but a person (adult or child) should not be able to slip underneath the beam, which defeats the whole purpose of the safety mechanism.

The city will get sued because of the improperly installed safety beam, which caused/contributed to her death.

Sean E said...

My home garage door has the beam, but it also automatically reverses if it hits any resistance on the way down. I would have thought this was a standard safety feature. Plus, it sounds like the paramedics, cops and firefights had trouble freeing her once they found her. It does sound like there were issues with the door mechanism, beyond beam height.

sammy990099 said...

"Plus, it sounds like the paramedics, cops and firefights had trouble freeing her once they found her"

Perhaps they were laughing too hard at the obvious humor in the situation?

traditionalguy said...

Her Mission Impossible was impossible this time. Better luck next time. Oh yeah, this is like war, you only get one chance to win or you're dead. That must be why General McChrystle acts so serious about a plan.

former law student said...

If no children or pets ever go by the EMT bay door, I don't see why the garage door should have a safety feature.

It's foreseeable that children will play under a garage door, because they don't yet understand how the world works. But it's not foreseeable that an adult will try to slip under the rollup door to an ambulance bay before it closes, because an adult can picture being pinned under the door, and because an adult who is supposed to be there can be let in through the appropriate door.

The outcome of any wrongful death suit should be that the woman assumed the risk of being pinned by the door, because as a former employee she should be familiar with how the rollup door operates, yet she tried to get under it anyways before it closed.

Norm N. Conquest said...

Uhhh... drugs.

miller said...

This just makes no sense. I can't imagine how she was pinned so that she was killed, unless the door pinned her chest or her head.

And did she not have her cell phone? And did the ambulance crew not see her lurking around?

Chef Mojo said...

Yo. Sammy. Crawl up your ass and find a sense of humor.

Moving on...

Paging Mr. Darwin... Mr. Darwin to the gene pool...


wv: goloblos - The sound Sammy makes searching for a sense of humor.

sammy990099 said...

"Yo. Sammy. Crawl up your ass and find a sense of humor."

I suppose that's just where to look for that particular kind of a "sense of humor"

I'll pass, thanks.

Kylos said...

A couple observations:

Perhaps the department was trying to avoid people jumping over the beam and didn't think they'd have to protect against crawlers too.

Perhaps a beam sensor is easier to retrofit than a pressure sensor on overhead doors.

Overhead door openers are strong enough to warp tracks and supports when something causes the door to bind. I've seen it happen. So it's likely they weren't able to back the door up. Also, she emptied the facility with her call, so it may have been a while before they found her.

Eric said...

I bet she had left something really really embarrassing there, and was trying to retrieve it.

Uhhh... drugs.


Yep. That seems to be a problem in pretty much any medical facility. My sister used to be a vet, and her office was burglarized on a fairly regular basis by people looking for opiates. I'll bet you can find all kinds of good stuff in a paramedic's supply closet.

Dogwood said...

If no children or pets ever go by the EMT bay door, I don't see why the garage door should have a safety feature.

Because accidents happen, people slip and fall and might get pinned beneath a closing door.

Or because sometimes a vehicle may not be clear of the door when someone hits the close button and you don't want the vehicle dented.


...but it also automatically reverses if it hits any resistance on the way down.

I thought that was weird, too. Last year I had to clear a small patch of ice from the driveway because the door kept reversing. Once the ice was gone the door closed without a problem. It wasn't very thick, but it was enough to prevent the door from staying closed.

Kylos said...

Also, CPSC regulations only affect residential installations after 1991. The department may not be required to install such features.

kentuckyliz said...

De facto death penalty for making false reports to emergency services.

Larry J said...

One possibility is that the codes pertaining to commercial-style doors are different from home garage doors. Having no experience in the area, I honestly don't know. Regardless, the city will likely be sued. Too bad being injured during the commision of a crime isn't sufficient to prevent a lawsuit.

Odds are she was trying to steal drugs but we may never know.

prairie wind said...

She was a prankster...going to shortsheet the beds.

edutcher said...

KYLiz, you are so right.

That she knew she was sending them on a wild goose chase and their absence could cost lives is what makes this reprehensible.

The old line, "God will get you", also applies here. Life does make us pay for our sins.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The infrared beam should be six inches above and parallel with the floor. The receiving unit should have acted light that flashes when the beam from the sending unit is out of alignment with the receiving unit. When this happens, the door shoud automatically stop it's travel until the beam is re-aligned.

It's bizarre that a fire department, with it's fanaticism about operating smoke detectors in every dwelling would have an unsafe overhead door on it's premises.

Pogo said...

Isn't it ironic, don'cha think?

kcom said...

Drugs would be my top working hypothesis barring specific evidence that points to something else. It's actually quite a simple, straightforward little plan she had going if that's what she was really up to. She would know the operating procedures and would figure she knew how to work around them to get in and get access.

Michael Hasenstab said...

She wanted the photos. You know there were photos.

former law student said...

Here's her picture, from the funeral home website.

She doesn't look to me like she's addicted to anything besides maybe pie.

http://www.alsipfuneralchapel.com/obit-service-schedule.jsp?site=0198&id=50211

Revenant said...

The old line, "God will get you", also applies here.

I don't know about God, but *stupidity* has certainly racked up quite a body count over the years. :)

Laika's Last Woof said...

Doorwin Award