Station Road Bike Path parking lot
Last Tuesday in the early morning hours first responders descended on the Station Road Bike Path parking lot to deal with a tragic sad scene: a suicide.
But one that endangered them as well, because Jim Tan, age 22, had set off a chemical cocktail in his car, which posed a potentially deadly threat to anyone else who should come into contact with it.
Fortunately he took the time to post warning signs on the car window. This is the second time someone has chosen to end their life in this manner in our little town.
EMTs stood by for hours, Amherst Police closed off Station Road and the State Fire Marshall and the regional state HazMat team arrived to perform a careful investigation/clean up, which took six hours.
Why are you just hearing this disturbing detail now?
Well, UMass doesn't want to acknowledge/advertise one of its students committed suicide, state officials don't want Copy Cats getting any ideas, and traditional media -- even if they did have the story -- would have privacy concerns much like those dealt with in the case of rape victims, although in this case the concern is for the family.
But the death occurred on public property, potentially endangered public employees, and highlights what could be a growing problem.
The People have a right to know.