Death

Walter Vance dies in West Virginia store on Black Friday

Here’s your inevitable ‘Black Friday Death’ story for the year: a 61-year-old pharmacist named Walter Vance reportedly collapsed in a West Virginia store on Friday and was not immediately helped. Instead, shoppers allegedly stepped over him for a while before someone tried to help him. He died later in hospital.

Of course, people step over dying people all the time, and at least the Black Friday angle gives the story context. A group of nurses happened to be in the store and eventually spotted that Walter Vance was in trouble (rather than, say, having a little mid-shopping nap). They couldn’t save him, despite giving him CPR and calling for paramedics.

Walter Vance’s family have questioned why no-one helped him sooner, but it’s not clear how long he was left before the nurses reached him. The story of him being ignored and stepped over is somewhat contradicted by reports that store workers blocked off the aisle while the nurses worked on him. So perhaps the headline should be: Nurses try to help dying man in store.

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