Portland, Oregon – A woman died on Thursday from a panic attack caused by her strained attempt to understand a bus driver’s announcement to passengers about altered service.
Jennifer Cable, 73, was aboard a TriMet Bus on the Route Two line when bus driver Earl Johnson made what he claims is a routine announcement.
“I made the same announcement I’ve been making for the past six months on a daily basis,” Johnson said: “Ladies and gentlemen, the next stop is SE Division and 12th Street, all passengers must get off the bus at this stop. I repeat, the next stop is the last stop on this bus and all passengers must get off the bus. If you do not get off the bus, you will be escorted off.”
Cable’s niece, 32-year-old Anne Jennings, was riding with Cable at the time, and says the announcement was absolutely impossible to understand. She says that the madness of what seemed like a life-or-death guessing game for Cable is what drove her aunt into a panic, and ultimately her death.
“He sounded like a static radio!” she told The Daily Orb in an exclusive interview. “It was like ‘Ladies and gentlemen the next SHASHMASHALASHA is SHASHMASHALASH Street
IF YOU DON’T SHASHA THE BUS
YOU WILL BE SHASHAD!”
Jennings says it was the shashmashalasha sound in particular that drove her aunt into a frenzy.
“We heard the first one and she looked at me and said “what was that? What did he say? It sounds important!” but then he kept going, and she started hyperventilating; she kept looking at me and saying ‘what if his announcement is important?!’ with increasing levels of anxiety. “
“By the time he got to the last ‘shashad!’ which is what he said would happen to us if we didn’t shasha the bus, she clutched her heart and fell into the aisle.”
Cable was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Jennifer Cable is survived by her husband, Jim Cable, and her children Bill and Larry Cable. In lieu of a memorial service, her family has asked that those seeking to pay their respects make donations to their local public transit system’s intercom company.