Diabetic Man Missing After Being Kicked Off Train

Seriously, enough is enough already. How many people with Diabetes need to be beaten, arrested and now apparently kicked off trains in the middle of nowhere for the rest of the world to start using their brains!?! The only thing I can hope for is that the media coverage will actually educate people, but I think that is pathetically optimistic.

PHOENIX – A 65-year-old St. Louis man is missing after Amtrak personnel, mistaking his diabetic shock for drunk and disorderly behavior, kicked him off a train in the middle of a national forest, according to police in Williams, Ariz.
Police said Roosevelt Sims was headed to Los Angeles but was asked to leave the train shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday at a railroad crossing five miles outside Williams.
“He was let off in the middle of a national forest, which is about 800,000 acres of beautiful pine trees,” Lt. Mike Graham said.

Police said there is no train station or running water at the crossing, which is about two miles from the nearest road, at an elevation of about 8,000 feet.

Amtrak personnel told police dispatchers that Sims was drunk and unruly.

The Sims family said Sims is diabetic and was going into shock.

Sims’ brother, Brian Mason, said his family tried to call Sims on his cell phone that night, but Sims was incoherent.

When officers arrived at the crossing, police said, Sims ran into the woods, leaving his luggage and medication behind.

Cell phone records show that Sims’ phone was last used in Litchfield Park, Ariz., 180 miles from Williams.

Williams police told CBS 5 that Amtrak has used the abandoned crossing as a drop-off site in the past. Graham said that whether drunk or not, no one should be dropped off there.

“You don’t put anyone off in an area like that,” Graham said.

Amtrak said the company is looking into the matter.

“I just want to find him,” Mason said. “I’m not mad at anybody.”

“I want to find a way to make sure he’s OK,” Mason added.

“Our thoughts and prayers are that there’s no way he’s out there in those woods,” Graham said.

Copyright 2007 by KPHO.com. All rights reserved.

I hope they find him at this point, and I hope those responsible get theirs. That is wrong to do that to anybody in the middle of nowhere.

I know this might be treading on thin ice with some but, do we have some responsibility to those around us
to let them know we have diabetes? I’m an electrician, have never had a low but I make sure EVERYBODY around me knows, frankly if something happens I want medical personel to know ASAP. I don’t have any special ID just a note right in front of my license in bold red stating I have diabetes if found unconcious.

I think if I were taking a long flight I would let the aircrew know.

Yes / No?

I just can not believe that they would do that. That poor man and his family. I hope they find him and that he is ok. Those that made that decision to put him off the train should lose their jobs and be made to work at a diabetes camp for community service. If that man is dead that still won’t be enough, but there’d that many fewer dumb people out there.

We as a community need to make sure these stories get the national attention they deserve! Write to your editors, post them … the only way people learn is to hear about it! I do think forcing the perpetrators to work at a diabetes camp would be an appropriate punishment.

I know that you don’t mean your post to read the way I read it! I try my very best to avoids lows (I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemies!), and I like to think that I am somewhat educated, but lows still happen. And do we know that he was not carrying any type of medic-alert? Yes, whoever is responsible for putting him (or anyone) off the train there SHOULD pay some consequences. But I’m not sure I would want them at a diabetes camp where my child was in attendence!

They wouldn’t necessarily have to interact directly with the children or any diabetic person for that matter. They could clean the toilets for all I care, just get them educated somehow.

And yes, I probably didn’t word that right: what I meant to say was if the man died as a result of the actions of those people on the train, no punishment would be enough. However, if they were made to work at a camp or even attend diabetes education of some sort, there’d be that many fewer dumb people out there. Definitely calling the ones who put him off the train the dumb people and not the man/victim.

My father was Type II, quite frankly in his younger days a low was just him being a little cranky and stubburn, as he aged a low might come across a just rude, to downright nasty, & then beyond nasty but never violent, but I don’t think a stranger would think “Oh, he has diabetes - back off”, I think they would say “What a SOB”.

That said, what exactly does a “low” look like to you, the folks around you?So far I can’t say I’ve experienced one, I might be as unprepared as the jackasses on the train to be truthful.

I would make sure everyone knew about my diabetes as having a strong history of unawareness of low sugars. I do know that the crew should have training to prevent medical emergencies. Absolutely as they have the resources to help you to be safe. That is utmost important. I wear a medic alert bracelet and have been found holding it so the paramedics could read it when was completely out of it. They told me that I had told them what was wrong by that motion. You have to be your best advocate. I tell everyone and even those who do not want to know. It is vital. I wonder what train and where this occurred. The person would have a right to recourse about this.

One way to spread the word about this atrocity:

I read this story earlier and I’ve been fuming about it all day. Here’s my opinion. Even if the Amtrak crew thought the guy was drunk or just being an uncooperative jerk, and didn’t take into account the possibility of insulin shock, what gives them the right to leave a passenger (and one who is obviously impaired, either mentally or physically) in the middle of nowhere like that? That’s crazy! If they just thought he was a drunken troublemaker and they wanted him off the train, they should have taken him to a regular station and arranged in advance for police or EMTs to handle him. Then he would have at least been taken into custody and would be safe now – someone, probably a cop or an EMT, would have figured out that it was a blood sugar issue and given him the help he needed. For all we know right now he’s passed out in the middle of a forest, slipping into a coma or even dead, all due to Amtrak’s ignorance and poor judgment. Shame on Amtrak.

oh my gosh. i have NEVER heard of anything like that here. despite most singaporeans’ apathy toward well…many things, i should think that if we saw anyone about to faint or in some kind of shock (diabetic or otherwise) on a bus or train, somebody somewhere would help. if this happened here, i’d be so mad i guarantee i’d write in to the newspaper forum page or something!

Simply despicable :frowning:

Thankfully he has been found and currently is in the Hospital:


If you’d like to contact AmTrak:

Let them know how you feel http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/ContactUs

California Headquarters: (510) 238-4360
Main Headquarters: (202) 906-3000 FAX (202) 906-3306
Media Relations: (202) 906-3860 EMAIL mediarelations@amtrak.com

Information from:
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Thanks for collecting all this information, Marston! And thanks for the update!

Those of you who have blogs, if you can please take a few minutes to post about this. Here’s what I wrote:

If you know people in media outlets, let them know about this. We should do our best to raise awareness. This is a sad event, but it’s getting noticed and it SHOULD: the digg item I posted last night in here is now on the home page of Digg:


“Amtrak spokesman Vernae Graham said the conductor followed proper procedures to eject a drunk passenger, which happens regularly on Amtrak. The conductor waited with Roosevelt Sims at the stop until local police arrived. When they did, he suddenly darted into the woods nearby and disappeared.”

What to believe???

I think it is sad that he is missing but I think Amtrak is telling the truth, I say that because the police confirm it with their statement.

All the police would have to say is “He wasn’t there when we got there” if he wasn’t.

I think he did dart off.

My father was fine but toward the end with low sugar AND infections, he said and did some scary things - if I didn’t know him…

I think what is important at this point is not only spreading the word that this happened, and about the beating(s) we read about recently, is how WE can help avoid them in the future.

No matter if he were drunk or having a reaction (as the case seems to be) where does Amtrak get off leaving someone in the middle of the woods like that.

I agree w/ another post earlier - most people will not think to check someone’s medical condition if they are acting in a rash manner. I had a severe insulin reaction once and my husband (after giving me multiple glasses of juice) recorded me so I can see how I acted. It was very scary - I was incoherent and babbling constantly. In my head, I was having a conversation with him - but on tape, I sounded like a lunatic and unless you knew me - I probably sounded like I’d had too many.

All that to say - something has to be done to trigger in people’s heads - hey, maybe this person is sick before it is assumed they are impaired by alcohol.

This would be reprehensible even if he weren’t diabetic. When your best case scenario is that you’re throwing a drunk man out into the woods in the middle of nowhere, in a position where he could potentially get hit by a train, you should be rethinking what you’re doing.

Lows are more of a big deal when you treat with insulin. Because we don’t yet have the technology to be as smart as our pancreases, sometimes too much insulin is taken or too much exercise or not enough food, etc. So people who take insulin have bigger swings in their bloodsugars than those that treat with pills or diet and exercise alone. Lows aren’t usually a problem, but there are some symptoms that mirror drunken behavior such as slurred speech, clumsiness, sudden mood changes (anger, crying), difficulty paying attention, and confusion. There are other symptoms, and different people experience lows in different ways.

Something incredible has occurred today: a little over a day ago, someone posted on Digg the news about this story (Digg, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a site where users essentially vote and/or comment on links to sites that they or others post). Almost at 5 am today, the story made it to the Most Popular, which is to say, it made the Digg.com home page. By the sheer power of having this happen, as of this writing close to 2,000 people dugg it (that is the action of voting for the post that was made about this story) and close to 300 comments were made about it.

What’s key (in my opinion) about what happened, is that THAT many people were exposed to the dilemma of a diabetic going through a hypo episode… and this was ONLY through Digg. That doesn’t include the many media outlets that may have picked this up today (in spite of the overwhelming hype today about the iPhone release).

Hopefully, the culprits of this whole scandal (if there’s anyone who needs to pay) will be brought to justice. And thank God this man is now recovering! But the fact that so many people that normally don’t even bother to look when someone says “diabetes” now know a little more about the big D is simply awesome!

If you read the article, the guy was only diagnosed a week prior to the incident. HE might not have know what was happening to him. As we all know, those lows can sneak up on you from behind. I do find it difficult to believe that 5 miles from a destination would be a “routine” place to drop off ANY kind of passenger, however obnoxious or dysfunctional. When something like this happens, it’s always about the company covering their asses in event of a lawsuit.