Taking nothing away from what is certainly a tragedy and a life ended way too soon, the shocking death of male fitness model/actor Greg Plitt is looking more and more preventable as the details come out. And according to law enforcement officials, the video that was being shot tells the entire story.
TMZ is reporting that they were told by California authorities investigating the matter that Plitt, 37, was trying to outrun a speeding train to prove that the energy drink he was promoting makes you “like Superman,” the DC character who was able to do so in comic books.
According to the report, the video “shows Plitt standing on the tracks as the train barrels toward him. Shortly before the train reaches Plitt, he assumes a runner’s stance and bolts down the track. The train closes in on [him] as he races at breakneck speed, but he loses the battle and the train “clips” him, throwing him off the tracks to his death.”
This refutes the earlier speculation that Plitt may have thought the train was running on a parallel track and tripped on the tracks trying to move out of the way.
(Before anyone scoffs at this because we are quoting TMZ, they are using information obtained firsthand from law enforcement.)
Either way, putting yourself in danger and anywhere near an oncoming train – in an area that was off limits to the public, no less – is something that parents tell their children at a young age to always avoid. To do this as a ridiculous stunt for a commercial is even more confusing. This goes beyond comprehension on so many fronts and that the original “tragic accident” story was a cover-up.
If someone died playing Russian roulette, they would be raked over the coals and viewed as reckless at best. All of the statements being released by people in our very own industry are making Plitt out to be a martyr and a heroic figure. At the expense of sounding cold, another opinion – and not such a positive one – should be heard.
He was a former Army Ranger who surely had been in extremely dangerous situations before. Why would he even attempt to do this? It made no sense and even if he was lucky enough to pull it off, people would have doubted it as being trick photography. That is how insane this was.
There are other questions that still need to be answered:
*What energy drink company was Plitt shooting the video for and were they aware of his intentions? If so, was he being paid a handsome amount of money to do this?
*Who were the other people present with Plitt and what was discussed right before he attempted the act?
And on a few side notes, let’s say that Plitt was successful and was able to outrun the train for a bit and then bailed off the tracks to safety. The operator was blowing the horn and trying to break, putting himself and the rest of the passengers in danger. (Now this man has to live with himself over this, as well.) And this was probably some type of trespassing charge that Plitt could have faced, especially after he aired the video.
Lastly, the world is full of people that emulate, copycat and try to one-up what they see others doing. Plitt was a public figure (and one viewed as being very inspirational) and it is not out of the realm of possibility that someone else would have (or still will) tried to pull this stunt off.
This was extremely irresponsible and a totally avoidable situation with no one to blame but Plitt himself. Sorry if that sounds cold, but someone had to have the balls to step up and tell it like it is.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I interviewed Greg Plitt for the cover feature of the November issue of FitnessRX For Men magazine while I was employed there as the Editor-in-Chief Online. I did not know him personally at all and have no reason to slam him in any way. But as the parent of two teenagers, incidents like this worry me that my children – or anyone’s, for that matter – will think that this was “cool” and try it themselves with the same result.