View Full Version : Road-Rage Driver Self-Immolates

23rd Sep 2008, 05:18
A driver, overcome with road rage, burned to death after ramming into a car and then setting her own car on fire by furiously revving the engine.
Witnesses told an inquest the actions of Serena Sutton-Smith, 54, were "against all human instincts", after she refused to leave her car and sat with her foot on the accelerator while flames engulfed her.
- Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/roadrage-driver-burns-to-death/2008/09/23/1221935590715.html)

Cap'n Arrr
23rd Sep 2008, 05:31
:eek: If someone had just told me that I wouldn't have believed it

23rd Sep 2008, 07:28
Yes, well, now you've seen it on the Internet, so you can take it as gospel.

23rd Sep 2008, 07:53
Quite believable that someone with such a serious mental problem was permitted to drive.

23rd Sep 2008, 07:58
Bi-polar disorder (aka manic depression) is surprisingly common. You can't stop every person suffering from it driving.

I'm amazed they decided she didn't mean to kill herself.

23rd Sep 2008, 08:16
You can't stop every person suffering from it driving.
Why not?

fjnsdkjsdfksdjsdgjsdgljgklsdjgsdgkljsddgljsdgsldjgljg to make the message long enough for this cockamamy website.

Captain Stable
23rd Sep 2008, 08:48
Because to one extent or another there are millions of people suffering it and in the vast majority of cases - probably about 97% - it doesn't affect people nearly as badly as it apparently did this woman.

23rd Sep 2008, 08:57
So, according to your figures, 100-97=3% of millions of people are affected as badly as this woman?

I think thats a lot too many people. 3% of only one million is 30000 people!

Could explain why at least one nutter tries to wipe me out every time I venture onto the roads.

Captain Stable
23rd Sep 2008, 09:04
Even when it does affect people badly, generally there are medications and procedures that can be taken to mitigate the worst of the symptoms. It doesn't mean that there are that number of people all out on the roads suffering that badly. Spike Milligan (one of the best-known sufferers) quite often admitted himself to hospital on his downers.

23rd Sep 2008, 09:28
It would appear the worst effected remove themselves from the gene pool anyway. Another one for the Darwin Awards!

Little Blue
23rd Sep 2008, 09:30
I think the percentage of sufferers in my office must be way higher than the perceived average....
And they all appear to be female !

23rd Sep 2008, 09:38
Isn't this where we're all supposed to say RIP or condolences to the family or something? :rolleyes:

23rd Sep 2008, 10:09
I like the opportunistic ad for car breakdown insurance right next to that article.
Crikey, some people see a business opportunity in anything!

23rd Sep 2008, 10:13
Oh dear, what small mindidness.

23rd Sep 2008, 13:36
I'm sorry, I was distracted by the item to the right of the story "Are Norwegian breasts better?"

This newspaper obviously have great empathy with the story :rolleyes:

There HAS to be a joke in the phrase "Norwegian breasts are beating Australian ones hands down. "

23rd Sep 2008, 13:45
Why not?

Because that is not the question. The question is: "How not, in practice?"

23rd Sep 2008, 16:15
Annual, stringent medicals for car drivers.

Oh, and regular written and practical re-tests to keep your license.

Old Grey
23rd Sep 2008, 18:01
I think the percentage of sufferers in my office must be way higher than the perceived average....
And they all appear to be female !

My eldest girl happens to be bipolar.

I can assure you it's no laughing matter.... :(

Captain Stable
23rd Sep 2008, 19:09
Agreed, Old Grey.

LittleBlue, for tasteless insensitive crassness, you win today's prize. Want to make another attempt about forgetfulness and Alzheimer's?

23rd Sep 2008, 19:35
Annual, stringent medicals for car drivers

And just how would that help ? What kind of examination would show up bipolar disorder if the person did not wish to admit to it ?

23rd Sep 2008, 21:36
A slightly more detailed article. I wouldn't have believed it either....

Woman burnt to death after setting her own car alight in road-rage incident - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4804007.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2)

23rd Sep 2008, 22:01
Very sad indeed. I've heard of people being overwhelmed by their disorder, that when situations arise, allow their own deaths to take place. Suicide by cop is another manner often revealed in the media. People see no way out when caught in the middle of an episode.

Little Blue
23rd Sep 2008, 23:12
For your information, I have , within my immediate family, a bi-polar sufferer, Parkinsons, terminal cancer,alzheimers and alcoholism ( Some would say thats bloody unlucky, I would say thats life)
How I choose to deal with them is my business.
I appreciate that not everyone is able to approach life in the same way as I do, but I can assure you that I hurt the same as every one else and I love each and every one of my family, regardless of who/how they are.
Your 'crass' comments are just as unwelcome to me.

23rd Sep 2008, 23:13
Is one meant to be sorry for a nutter self destructing like this? The news is just a litany at the moment with daily reports of one nutter somewhere or other attacking and often killing innocents- the Finnish incident being the latest episode in a very long line. It would be interesting to see how many people are killed by unrelated and unknown to them crazies. One around here was a schizophrenic male sitting on an innocent woman in a supermarket on the south coast and repeatedly stabbing her in the face and chest. Apparently his freedom not to take his medicaation was greater than the freedom of the public not to get murdered by this individual!

There is no excuse not to go back to the old way of asylums to take disturbed people out of society until their problems are demonstrably over. We are being seriously remiss in allowing their right to freedom to overrule our right to safety from them in their disturbed state.

If this particular woman decided she would rather perish in a fire of her own creation, maybe nature is telling us, or she is telling us herself, that her time had come.

24th Sep 2008, 00:58
Given the massive number of autistic children and the mercury levels in fish, I suspect we have finally poisoned the environment to dangerous levels and now the monster has come home to roost. It isn't mental illness as much as it is brain chemistry. I don't think the future looks too good for us humans.

24th Sep 2008, 02:08
It isn't mental illness as much as it is brain chemistry.
I thought all mental illness was a result of faulty brain chemistry ... what other kind of mental illness is there? Isn't it all chemically induced? :confused:

24th Sep 2008, 02:51
Mental illness can be caused by physical injury too. Sometimes personalities can completely change after a severe head injury.
Of course, if you consider the brain is a bunch of chemicals than maybe it still is a chemical problem.

I don't think we have more crazies now than in the past. I recall at the turn of the century (1900) anxiety disorder was at the same numbers (%) as now.

Captain Stable
24th Sep 2008, 08:41
Rainboe, it's not a question of his "freedom not to take his medication" as you put it.

It basically boils down to Maggie Thatcher's so-called "Care in the Community" policy which involved closing psychiatric wards and hospitals, funding psychiatric care less and less and merely hoping that psychiatric (out-)patients would take their drugs like good little loonies (I'm being ironic here - not disrespectful to anyone unlucky enough to suffer from mental illness).

And with less and less funding under successive governments, there is not a lot that can be done by the NHS since psychiatric beds are not available. The best that can be done in the short term is to lock people up in police cells - not best guaranteed to aid their recovery. The money in the NHS is going on headline-grabbing measures such as waiting times and secondary care league tables instead of where it is really needed. Political parties in the meantime are competeing one with another to see how low they can reduce taxes and spending while trying not to upset the headline-writing copy siubeditors when what they really need to be doing is pointing out that our freedom to enjoy being taxed less is being infringed by others' freedom to enjoy going shopping without being stabbed to death by someone who should not have been released into the community.

The Lib Dems have lost my vote at the next election. I don't want to be taxed less (well, I do, but I have other preferences). I prefer to know that we have adequate funding for psychiatric care, for dental care, for investment in the country's infrastructure and future (particularly in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels), on increasing use of rail at the expense of road and air transport.

But it's not going to happen. When the Tories complain about "lunatics" running around free, they have to reflect that they have only themselves to blame.

24th Sep 2008, 09:07
Is one meant to be sorry for a nutter self destructing like this?

If you had any sense of human decency, yes. This woman was someone's daughter/mother/niece/relative. They're probably not feeling happy about her demise.

Captain Stable, (hey, nice nick mate), has eloquently summed up the state of mental health 'care' in this country. I speak as someone who had to go through the hell of a secure mental health ward not so long ago. Even then I was escorted to a different secure unit every night due to a lack of beds. This drove me further into the cesspit that is mental illness.

Luckily I had an employer and a family who helped me (with money and private healthcare) beat a combination of PTSD, MADS and the like. I'll forever be grateful to them.

Many others are not provided that safety net. Feel sorry for them, don't mock them.

Captain Speedbird
24th Sep 2008, 09:25
I couldn't agree more Angels. It seems the mentally ill are not generally afforded the same sympathy as those with a physical illness or infirmity.

I first came accross it when a good mate had a 'nervous breakdown' as it was called then. He became a paranoid schizophrenic. In retrospect you could see the signs, but then maybe its possible to see them in most if not all of us to a certain extent.

Seeing someone who was once full of life, be devastated by the drugs used to supress chronic manic behaviour puts even chemotherapy in the shade.

A couple of nights ago I watched a very sad documentary Her name is Sabine (http://www.channel4.com/film/reviews/film.jsp?id=167029) that almost had me blubbing for the poor woman. If you are interested it can be watched on C4's internet TV service 4OD.

24th Sep 2008, 19:05
A few days ago I was driving along and saw a naked guy on the pavement in a shopping area.
He had set fire to himself in a flat and risked the lives of those inside as the staircase was on fire.
He then ran out into the street ablaze before being extinguished.
It appears that it was a domestic dispute.
In spite of much medical attention he died the next day.
I have no idea about his sanity but like in the OP so many people at the scene are directly affected and then there are the press reports that others read.
I for one will not forget trying to help.
We all hope we will not have confront such scenes.

Two's in
24th Sep 2008, 19:25
Posting on Jet Blast about not mocking the frailties of others must rank right up there with screwing for virginity.