Four seconds of absolute terror

Four seconds of absolute terror



The former beauty queen who jumped to her death from a Manhattan high rise would have suffered the worst terror of her life in the four seconds it took to fall.

The body of Cheslie Kryst, a 30-year-old lawyer, was found Sunday morning on the pavement below the 60-story luxury building where she lived.

She had leapt from the 29th terrace of the building at 350 West 42nd Street.

Four seconds of absolute terror


Four seconds is how long it would take to fall 29 floors — the longest four seconds and worst terror a person could experience.

Arms flailing, panicked with regret over your decision, thinking there had to be another way to cope with the stress of life — or at least another way to die.

“There is no more helpless feeling than falling,” notes Kent Aldershof, a retired business educator who researches jumping deaths. “You will not have a sensation of peace and approaching oblivion. You will instead be experiencing the strongest terror you have ever felt, and the greatest sense of urgency to grab onto something that would stop your fall.”

But not even God himself could save you.

Your body would shatter on impact, and in the split second before your brain dies, you would experience the most hideous pain imaginable.

The death of Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, is the latest in a number of recent suicides in the Hells’ Kitchen area of Manhattan — four in the last year within one block of Manhattan Plaza.


In July 2021, a 60-year-old woman jumped to her death with her dog from the roof of a 46-story highrise building on 10th Avenue near 41st Street, leaving behind a note in which she talked about stress.

Just days later, a 14-year-old boy was killed after he jumped from the Hudson Yards Vessel at 10th Avenue and 33rd Street in front of his family, the fourth to leap to their deaths from the structure in two years.

In January 2021, a Brooklyn woman jumped from the roof of a 12-story Hell’s Kitchen building on 53rd Street while clutching her 5-year-old daughter — killing them both.

In December 2020, a 39-year-old man jumped to his death from the sixth floor of an apartment building also in Hell’s Kitchen on 52nd Street.

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