Thought Catalog
June 12, 2017

28 People Admit How They Accidentally Caused Someone Else To Die

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What is the issue?
These stories from Ask Reddit are devastating.
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1. I lost my grip on her and she fell into rocks near the river

“I was skiing with my friends on a school trip. As we went to sit on the chair lift, our skis locked. The way that happened meant that one of my friends ended up siting on top of the other. The lift operator didn’t stop the lift and we couldn’t get off by the time we realized what was happening. It was my job to pull the ski bar down but I couldn’t due to the positing of people in the lift. Long story short, my friend ended up slipping and I was holding onto her as she dangled off the lift. I was wearing thick skiing gloves so my grip on her was loose. She was screaming so much but she stopped for a second, looked me in the eye and said: ‘Please don’t let go’. And then my grip gave in and she fell about 4 stories into some rocks near a river. We were shouting at the lift operator but he was too slow to react. The girl died from internal bleeding and shock, as he legs twisted in a fucked up way when she landed. She went into cardiac arrest and died. I was questioned profusely by the police and was treated as a suspect. I was bullied endlessly, both online and IRL. In the end I blamed myself and I still do to this day. This really is the nutshell version but out of respect to people involved, I wont give any details, since it was only 4-5 years ago.” — kungfusaini

2. A man handed me a rifle, which went off and killed his daughter

“Warning: This is a fucked-up story, with only losers.

I was 14 years old, it was a Sunday afternoon, somewhere in Europe. I was returning from a soccer match with my dad and two neighbors, friends of my dad. Going through my neighborhood, we met a new neighbor, they had moved in a few weeks earlier. He was returning from a hunting trip, and was unloading a couple of rifles from his car. We said hello, and chatted for a bit. Curious, 14 year old me couldn’t take my eyes of the rifles, I had never before seen anything like it up close. He noticed, and asked if I wanted to hold it. Of course I wanted too! My father and one of the others asked something along the lines of, ‘It isn’t loaded, I presume?’  The hunter said, ‘Of course it isn’t!’ and handed me the gun. The moment I took it, it went off, hitting his 7-year old daughter, who came running from the backside of the house, more or less in the middle of the chest. She was dead before the ambulance arrived. She was their only child, and had celebrated her 7th birthday just days prior.

The aftermath was a lot of police, investigations and a generally bad time. It felt like I fell down a dark, empty hole, and shut myself completely in. I don’t remember much from the years that followed, I existed, but that was it.

Legally, I was acquitted, everyone agreed that the hunting neighbor had stated the gun wasn’t loaded, and that he practically insisted on me holding it. The hunter himself got some kind of suspended jail sentence.

The years since has been bad for most involved. The hunter was divorced from his wife shortly after. I heard he got some kind of depression and apparently has been in and out of a mental hospital. His wife is consumed by hatred, and shows up to threaten me any time she can find me. I have moved repeatedly, and even changed my name, but she still find me regularly. I have filed several court orders against her, and she is forbidden to come closer than a few km from me, but that doesn’t stop her. She has never hurt me physically, though, but she usually say that she’ll kill me one day.

My father took this very hard, and was in dark place for years. He is now retired, and spends most of his time doing various volunteer work for youth organizations and the like. I know it his way of doing some kind penance. My mother died a few years ago, and was an amazing support for me, even though we never discussed the incident or the dead girl.

I was never able to get back into any kind of meaningful education, barely managing to finish my country’s version of high school. I now live and work with my brother, and I’m doing kinda OK. I never speak to anyone about this, except my father.” — ChldShooter_ThrAway

3. I inadvertently convinced a woman to kill her husband

“I was dating this girl that was a little dysfunctional due to being sexually abused by her grandpa and nobody knew about it. I noticed some red flags and got her to open up and tell me about it. After we broke up, I told her mom she should stop inviting grandpa over to Thanksgiving dinners due to the sexual abuse. The mom called me a liar, but after asking the other daughters/cousins about it they confirmed it was true and that they had all been molested too.

After word got back to grandma, she said, ‘I’ll take care of it’. Fast forward a week and grandpa is dead. Apparently Grandpa had a lot of serious medications he was taking and grandma messed with the dosage, which killed him. His death was ruled natural cause and nothing ever happened to grandma.” — rollcyclones

4. He shot himself with the gun I let him borrow

“I’m not sure If this counts but I wanna get it off my chest after reading these.

My friend was a well known and liked guy. Very social. Did drama, football and baseball in high school. Some of the best moments of my life was with him.

One day he just stopped coming around. He would read my messages but not reply. He ignored anyone else. It was so bizarre.

One day, he came to my house and it was like the good old days. He said he got into target shooting but his gun blew up because he fired a bullet that had been in the washing machine, he had some powder burns on his hands. He asked to borrow one of mine and I said yes.

Two days later he shot himself with it. I’ve hated myself since. Most of our mutual friends hate me. His family hates me and I was barred from his funeral. I feel so bad I didn’t see the signs. I miss you Tom. I wish I could have helped you like you did me.” — PsalmOfTheDead

5. My friend tried to talk to me right before committing suicide

“I was gaming when one of my best friends messaged me asking to talk if I was free. Since he usually asked this of me just to talk about random stuff, I didn’t think too much of it and just planned to reply back to him after I was done with my gaming session. A couple of hours later I finally replied back to him, but he didn’t reply back which I thought was weird but was probably just him being busy. He never replied again. I found out the next day at school that he had committed suicide around the same time that I was gaming. I can’t help but think that I could’ve talked him out of it if I had replied to him immediately. To this day I still feel guilty about it, and I’ve resolved to never let a friend down like that again… too bad I didn’t have that thinking sooner.” — Reninz

6. I ran over a man on a motorcycle with my pickup truck

“Turned left into my sister’s driveway at 3 am. A guy on a Harley was doing 60 mph in a 30, with no headlight. My half ton pickup left 4 feet of skid marks from being pushed back by the force. I still remember seeing him do mid air somersaults this was 1976.” — bigcityornot

7. I snapped a woman’s femur and she ended up dying from bed sores

“When I was 18 I was working the night shift in a nursing home as an aid. Part of my job was to turn the paralyzed patients every two hours to make sure they didn’t get bed sores etc. This one particular resident had late stage Parkinson’s diseases and her muscles and joints were stiff and brittle and she was catatonic. As I was flipping her from one side to another, I applied light pressure to her leg to move her back a bit and this snapped her femur. Given her age and health the doctors decided that surgery was dangerous and she would have to heal on its own, if at all. Because of this we could no longer flip her, which resulted in bed sores. She eventually went septic from those bedsores and died of septic shock. I always felt so bad about that.” — _agent355_

8. I caused my friend to injure an elderly woman

“Was skiing with a friend when I was still living in Colorado, we were going a good speed and enjoying the mountain. When we came back onto the main trail he was still going really fast.

I yelled at him to slow down and an elderly lady ended up merging at the same time as he looked back at me. My buddy is a good sized guy and ended up colliding with this old woman. The ski patrol ended up grabbing her from the mountain and she was clearly in alot of pain. She ended up dying from her injuries a few days later.

After their investigation my buddy and the woman were both in the wrong. He had to pay some fines but never got any sort of lawsuit.” — garythedog

9. We called the cops on a man who ended up drowning

“I used to work a strange overnight schedule. Ten hour shifts Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’d try and keep awake the same hours on my days off, especially on Thursdays. This was a pretty rural area so there wasn’t much open at those hours except a gas station that had a tiny cafe area. I didn’t want to keep people in the house awake so I spent a lot of time at the gas station. I’d usually read or talk with the cashier on duty. I think she felt a little safer having someone else there too.

One night a man comes in with a little boy and asks if they can use the bathroom. It’s something like 3 AM. The kid looks sick or uncomfortable. To me it looked like he’d been punched in the stomach. After they’re in the bathroom the cashier and I look at each other. She thinks there’s something off about this too. I went outside to get a description of the vehicle. After they leave we call the police.

The local police passed it along to the county sheriff’s department and a local officer came to the gas station. He asked us a couple more questions and we listened to his radio to hear what was happening.

A county officer spots the truck and pulls it over. After the officer gets out of the car the truck backs into it and takes off. The police pursue him. We didn’t get a lot of details after that. He crashed or abandoned the truck. The truck was on fire and loose rounds of ammunition was going off in the truck. I believe the boy was somewhere safe because I didn’t hear any more about him.

The guy tried to swim across a small but deceptively treacherous river and he drowned.

That was close to 20 years ago. If I remember correctly he was the boy’s dad but did not have custody. He was recently released from prison and the truck was stolen.” — Slaine777

10. My grandfather tripped over my controller and cracked his skull open

“When I was younger playing Xbox whilst at my grandparents house I had left the room to go to the bathroom, leaving my wired controller on the floor. I suddenly hear a thud and decided to finish my business before seeing where it had came from.

Whilst cleaning up I heard a scream from my grandma and was told to stay in the bathroom. And so I did.

Found out that my grandfather had accidentally stood on my controller and fell over the wire, cracking his skull open on the table and was announced dead at the scene when the ambulance arrived.

I am now extra cautious with where I leave items, encouraging my younger brother and sister to clear up their mess once they’re done.” — HornyKoala

11. I choked a man to death in self-defense

“A guy attacked me at 3 a.m. while I was walking to work. I tried to choke him long enough to render him unconscious. And I did. He never woke up. He was a firefighter, a husband, and a father. I know it was self-defense. It still bothers me sometimes, nearly ten years later.” — reallyquiterude

12. I opened a car door and a motorcyclist slammed into it

“When I was 4 and visiting Japan, I opened back door of a car in Japan to the sidewalk but a motorcyclist driving in that space between the curb and road slammed into it. Blood everywhere. I don’t remember the exact aftermath since I was so young, but everybody was screaming and I just sat there not understanding exactly what was happening until my mom ran off the scene and into the building in tears.” — MintSM

13. My sibling died after I caused my pregnant mother to fall

“When I was 4 Years old, my mother was roughly 3-4 months pregnant.

One day I was supposedly crying and throwing a tantrum over a toy or something, my mother tried to comfort me by cradling me in her arms and take me to to my room which was up the stairs but I cried and kicked so much that she lost her balance and fell down the the stairs, I was unhurt and mother recovered without any lasting injuries.

But my sibling died.” — Damin41

14. I ran over a fellow student

“I was 17 years old leaving school, it had just stopped raining. A bus was stopped at a red light in the right lane as I was slowing down to stop behind the bus. As the light turned green the bus wasn’t moving so I moved to the left lane to go through the intersection. The bus still wasn’t moving, even though traffic had a green light the bus waved some pedestrians across the cross walk (pedestrians had a red). By the time they walked in front of the bus I didn’t have much time to react. I slammed on my brakes and turned my wheel as hard as I could.

My truck spun around and my bed hit something. I spun until I came to a stop across the street. I was praying my truck hit the bus.

I hit a 16 year old fellow female student.

She was picked up and flown into Seattle, she died 4 hours later.” — Hindraous

15. My orders led to a teenage girl’s death

“War survivor from chechnya 94-96 war.

I told a girl, maybe 17 year old, to run out from the apartment building because I was so sure it was going to collapse. It didn’t collapse, and she ran out into a hail of gunfire and died. I was so scared that I stayed in the building and it just never collapsed the entire time, so I left out the back.

I often think about that, it was such a quick decision. She was right near the door, I was on my way out because the building felt like it was shaking, and I saw her and said “run out, the roof is gonna fall!” and she ran out in a hurry and got blown apart by gunfire, shrieking in pain until she was hit again and presumably died.

I wish I didn’t tell her that obviously. It still sort of haunts me to this day, especially her screaming. But I also know that I made the decision in good will… trying to save her life. And to be fair the building REALLY felt like it was going to collapse, and everyone was running out, not just me. Anybody would have told her to run as well. Nobody knew they were opening fire on the building.

I know it sounds like lame justifications but it is all I can think of to help ease my mind. Anybody would have done the same. I hope at least…” — willmaster123

16. My grandmother fell down the stairs because of my temper tantrum

“When I was a little kid, I was in the mall with my mom and my grandma. I forget what I was angry about but I was throwing a temper tantrum and ran away. My grandma took a really bad fall down a flight of stairs and because my mom didn’t speak English that well, it took her a while to find me then get her mom to the hospital. My grandma passed away from the injury.” — TrendNation55

17. He died after he took the medication I gave him

“Former paramedic here. We tend to have a fair share of what we ourselves consider deaths we are responsible for.
You don’t always interpret all situations right. There are days your hands are a tiny bit shakey and you miss that vein or trachea, etc.
But I will always remember the first one, as a fresh paramedic : 65y/o old male with chest pain,just had his birthday yesterday. Now presents with chest pain. For this we give nitroglycerin as a spray. Works well, but has a downside: It reacts massively&violently with Viagra, etc. (Which was a brand new drug on the market back then.)
I asked the patient if he took any medication, he says no.
Now the seasoned paramedics already know where this is heading. I of course forgot to ask the wife to leave ghe the room and ask again. Because he visited a hooker for his birthday.
He crashed half a minute after I gave him the nitroglycerin and despite all efforts died on scene.” — marunga

18. I accidentally caused a hit and run

“Loan officer for a local credit union. I ordered a repo on a guy’s car; totally justified. A week later, he gets off at a bus stop about midnight, and starts walking home. A car hits him, hit and run. He’s found literally dead in a ditch the next morning. I didn’t kill him, but if I hadn’t ordered the repo, he wouldn’t have died.” — MR1120

19. I ran over a man on the way home from a friend’s house

“I was driving from a friend’s house last November on a road I’ve driven a million times. I knew one area was particularly dark at night because the city hadn’t replaced the street lights in over a decade. The dark area also crests a hill in a residential area between two crosswalks that are far apart, so people cross the road at the top of this hill. Knowing all this, I still never saw him coming. There was a huge thud and my window was cracked all the way across. I turned around and saw him laying motionless on the side walk. It was late and noone else was there, so it was just me (parked on a sidestreet) and this body. I checked his pulse while I was on the phone with 911 bit couldn’t feel anything because I was shaking so badly. This was maybe a quarter mile from the hospital so the paramedics were there before I even realized what happened. They put him up on a stretcher with this strange device that I found out later was to automatically compress his chest. The cops showed up and I finally saw my car with a flashlight. There was a large chunk of flesh and blood caught on the side of my car. I passed my sobriety test and they took me home.

He lived for three days before dying due to complications of the accident, and was never conscious during that time. I found out through a friend of mine who’s the editor at a local paper that the police were still considering charges (also how I found out that he died).

I was obviously a mess about the accident but also the possibility of involuntary manslaughter. After the officer called me to tell me officially that he died, I consulted a lawyer and was basically told not to talk to the police again and to let them conduct their investigation.

Two grueling weeks later, i got a phone call at midnight from the officer who gave me my sobriety test (he worked third shift). He told be that the guy was incredibly intoxicated and basically stepped into oncoming traffic without paying attention. With that info, I wasn’t to be charged and I could go pick my car back up. The relief I felt was indescribable but also terrible that I could feel so great in a situation where someone died. What made that feeling worst was that the officer told me the family of the guy were super concerned with how I was doing and that they wanted to tell me they didn’t blame me.

He was 24 and had just graduated college. It was his last night in town before going back to his hometown. I go to his Facebook page every once in a while just so I don’t forget what he looked like.

Sorry if this comes through as rambling but I’ve been actually explained this in writing before.” — DeathThrowaway2216

20. My newborn baby was unresponsive

“So, I was at home watching my kids of 15 months and 3 months, exhausted and sleep deprived. I lay them down for a nap, the newborn swaddled. I proceed to take a nap while I can. Not sure how much time passed when the baby started crying, but, I ignored it and thought to myself, ‘They’re fine, they will stop in a minute,’ and went back to sleep.

I wake up a little later, a total of 2 or so hours have passed during this nap time. No kids crying or anything so I fix myself a sandwich for lunch and sit to eat it. After finishing I go to check on them and my heart hits the floor. The newborn is unresponsive, slightly twitching, with mucus coming out of their nose. I pick them up and unwrap their blanket and they’re super sweaty, barely breathing, and slightly twitching in my arms. I call 911 freaking out while hitting the baby’s back while holding them by their chest on one hand to clear their airway. Tons of mucus comes out of the nose and mouth. Police and squad get there, take them to the hospital as I follow with my other child. When we get there they try to work on the baby but their temperature was extremely high and they were going into septic shock. Was life-flighted to a children’s hospital where they did not survive.

Doctors said it was likely meningitis or some extreme viral infection that caused the SIDS event, but personally, I feel like it’s my fault because I was too lazy to get up and check when they cried during that nap. I will never, ever forgive myself. This is the first time I have told anyone because even talking or thinking about it makes me hate myself. So, I understand the hate I’ll get for this.” — TruthSeeker120

21. I fought a man and he bashed his head on the curb

“Back in the mid 2000’s I was going through a divorce. My whole emotional state was in chaos. I was pretty much a functioning alcoholic. And very, very angry.

So I went to a gas station to get smokes after a particularly bad fight with my wife (we were selling the house that I had built) and I was so angry, so hurt.

As I was pulling out of the gas station some guy came rocketing out of the car wash area and cut me off. Being in the state of mind I was in I let loose a long spew of profanity at him, really nasty stuff.

He must have been having a bad day because before I knew it he was in park and around the front end of his car coming at me with his hands up. I boxed Golden Gloves in my youth and the hands up is a universal sign, I was in my car with the window down and very vulnerable. His front end was blocking mine and I was boxed in. So I jumped out of my car and stepped out of the door’s way and the dude was literally 5 feet from me coming at me with a vengeance. Hands up and ready.

So I threw a straight right at him. I don’t remember trying to throw it hard, I just did it kind of like a batter with two strikes trying to protect the plate. It worked. I hit him right on the point of the chin. His eyes rolled up immediately and he started going down. He went down like this, only sideways and hit the side of his head on a curb. It was the first part of him to touch the ground.

And it killed him. Brain bleed. He lasted a week I think. He had other medical issues as well that exacerbated it (his wife and I talked a lot at the hospital). She never blamed me which I am very thankful for because I sure blamed myself for many, many years. Turned into a non functioning alcoholic, was almost homeless. My whole body hurts thinking about this.

I still feel awful, still cry it out sometimes. I used to have nightmares about his 2 daughters. They were teenagers. They needed their daddy. And my actions took that from them.” — GayManWithAKnife

22. A man brutally died after following my directions

“Fuck it I’ll reply. I haven’t told many of my friends this story, but sharing it has helped wrap my head around what happened.

It was about 3am on a Thursday last December. I lived in Fort Lauderdale at the time. I was heading back from a party at a friends house, pretty bleary eyed. I had slept for a few hours and then got in my car. I was running out of gas so I stop at a gas station right off of I-95 before heading north (to home).

A guy walks up to me while I’m pumping gas and he asks for directions. He was older, and a bit drunk. He came off as a yachtie, and yachties are really common in that part of town (I had a bunch of yachtie friends so he didn’t sketch me out, but I immediately kind of wrote him off). I told him to take I-95 north. He stumbles off and gets on his vespa (scooters are super common in South Florida), and then drives away.

I go inside, get a drink, then sit in my car for a few minutes (waking up) before going. I hit the highway and I’m cruising north when I see a TON of emergency lights coming down the southbound side. I remember thinking “oh shit something’s going down”. I start paying closer attention to the road in front of me and there are lights in my rear view too, coming up really fucking gast.

What happened next was kind of a blur and is NWS:

There were recognisable body parts in the road. part of an arm, an upper torso with the head attached, blood everywhere. Bits and pieces of plastic and metal in the road and lumps of flesh or organ or something. I didn’t see any of it until I was extremely close, but the image is something that has really fucked me up.

I called my mom… she said I was incoherent and screaming about blood. FHP checked my car (which had blood on it but no damage) the next day, and the officer explained to me an older white male on a scooter had gotten on I-95 north. He merged inappropriately and was hit by a dump truck, and his corpse was hit by several other vehicles including mine…

They closed I-95 for the entire morning, well past rush hour. The news article said that remains and debris were strewn across an area the size of a football field.

I sold my car and moved. The first two months were very rough, but I’m feeling better now. (Despite shaking atm)” — Badculus

23. I shoved a man and he hit his head on the pavement

“When I was fifteen on my way home from school, a man stepped out of his car and grabbed my arm and said I had to go with him. I tugged away, and we sort of grappled in the street for a moment, until I shoved him, he lost balance, he fell and hit his head on the pavement and died from his head injury in hospital.” — tossdawayy

24. He died drunk on the railroad tracks

“2 years ago. My sister was working at a dealership. Her husband and I were spending the day together until it was time to pick up sis from work. He had been drinking tall-boys all day, so when it came time to get his gal I took the keys and said I’m driving. He was mad enough that he refused to go with me. When I came back with my sister he was no where to be found, but it was common for him to go on walks to calm himself down so we didn’t think much of it. 8am the next morning, State Police were banging on the door. They told us he was struck and killed by a train while he was sleeping on the tracks.” — zarsen

25. My father had an asthma attack after I made him go on a ride

“My father died of an asthma attack the next day when we went on the Tiger Sky tower ride in Singapore. It was labelled not safe for asthmatics, and I was the only one to read that but I didn’t warn my dad because I was 12 and I really wanted to go on that ride.

Next day he got an asthma attack in the morning, and of course he forgot his drugs to take on holiday so my mom had to go to a pharmacy which they denied the prescription for because it wasn’t issued in Singapore. Mom came back, wanted to take him to the hospital but my dad didn’t like hospitals and was feeling a bit better so he said no. Later he got fell unconscious and we rushed him to the hospital for nebuliser treatment but they couldn’t save him.” — blazingdarkness

26. I was supposed to be watching my sister when she got hit by a car

“The event that caused a long, long series of other events spanning over years including divorces, me getting thrown out of home at 15, a youth of petty crime, my mother marrying a fuck who abused me physically and verbally (not sexually though…) until I hit him back, which lead to me getting into some bad habits.

I suppose I didn’t actually cause this death. In fact by now I know I didn’t. But back then… And for a lot of years to follow, I thought I did. I’ve blamed myself on and off ever since.

I was watching my sister in our front yard. She was my responsibility. This wasn’t too uncommon, we lived in a good neighborhood. Being kids, I didn’t really… Care as much as I should have. I mean it’s our yard right? She was a kid so she… Didn’t think and look. She was hit by a car. She was eleven years old and she was my responsibility. She was always better than me. She would have made the world a better place.” — jaqass

27. My roommate died while I was in the other room

“I wouldn’t say I ’caused’ this death, but this is kind of in that realm.

But my roommate’s dad died most likely while I was in the other room, oblivious that he was at our house.

He was in town for a few days, for an appointment he had for heart surgery later this day.

I woke up early for homework before class, and he texted me to borrow my truck to go to the convenience store, so I gave him the keys, finished my work, then went to class after he got back.

I got back from class maybe 2 or 3 hours later, and about an hour or 2 after that, my 2nd roommate (not the son) came home, and shortly after my roommate’s (the son’s) mom came to the house, in a sweat, asking where the dad was. She said she had called him several times and he didn’t pick up.

We went into my roommate’s room, and there he was. But he wasn’t sleeping, it was different… you could tell. Anyways, we got him down and I performed CPR while the others called the cops. They were there fast. But he didn’t make it.

I think they thought I would blame myself. The EMTs or whatever they’re called each told me that I did everything right, probably didn’t want me to blame myself. And I don’t.

But if I had known, maybe it would have been different.

I’m almost certain that I was in the other room when he died, but just never knew. I didn’t know just how serious his heart condition was until after all of this.” — cnauyodearhsti

28. I left a friend behind and he drowned

“My mom is Thai and my dad is American so I spend most of the year in the US and summers in Thailand. When I was eight my family and my cousin’s family were at the beach in Cha-Am. My cousin’s son, James, and I had been playing in the ocean for hours by this time and we were both exhausted. Since we began playing the water got much more violent with large waves as a thunderstorm was starting. As soon as my parents heard lightning they yelled for us to come back to the shore and I just started swimming back without checking to see if James was following. When I walked up onto the sand I looked back and I couldn’t see him. We were much farther out than two eight year old should’ve been and James was too tired to keep himself above the water. I’m not sure what I could’ve done once I realized I couldn’t find him but I can’t stop thinking about it, and when I go back to the condo there I can’t bring myself to get back into the ocean.” — MCMXCV_Invictus TC mark

Holly Riordan is the author of
Severe(d), A Creepy Poetry Collection.
Pre-order your copy here.