Those strong older generation ice climbers that is how they do it. When Rockytop and Doug climbed Mainline a few winters ago they only placed 8 screws. Pretty sure that included the belay? Even if you climb 20ft over a screw on skinny rope with stretch and some slack in the system you are gonna take a monster fall...
Common guy, be honest: Who was not impress by the solo climber in the yosemite this summer...is he old style at 24 or 25?.
At his level of knowledge you know that placing a pro will or not hold a fall in what you found. Running out is some time more a solution than being tired after placing three ice screw that will not hold any thing. Futher more, we don't have any idea of how much pro he used and how fall his belayer drop him. Did he have heart problem before his fall?
If you climb today, it is because some of them survive to gave you the chalenge of climbing safely. Most of them survive, but 41 years in the sharp end and one mistake, it is just sad that you treat him as a newbye.