Friday, July 25, 2008


This deeply disturbing article today on talks about a 19 year-old cyclist named Autumn Grohowski who was killed by an oncoming car. More specifically, she was killed by a drunk driver while she was turning left right before a railroad crossing where the lights on the crossing were blinking and the safety arms were swinging down. The drunk driver was coming the other way, saw that the crossing said "stop," illegally accelerated through the railroad crossing, and killed the 19 year old. Then he fled the scene, was forced back to the scene by shocked bystanders, and then proceeded to call 911. The story is actually much more disturbing than my brief summary.


Accelerating through an active train crossing is the same as running a stop sign or red light. The driver's illegal actions (in addition to being drunk) were the direct cause of this murder. Yes, it was murder, and I suspect that the only reason the DA did not press more serious charges is because the victim was a cyclist.

You'd think that by now, we would be used to being treated as second class citizens in this country. But I'm still not ready to accept this fact.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I guess what disturbs me most about this article is not the justice (or lack of it) in the sentence. Rather, it's the sympathy of the jury towards the driver. I don't fully blame them for this perspective, though. This is a systematic and cultural problem. Beginning drivers aren't taught to be aware of cyclists. Roads are built for cars. Infrastructure is stacked against cyclists and the likelihood of drivers successfully avoiding them. My tendency while cycling is to go to absurd extemes (e.g. abruptly going onto a sidewalk) to avoid cars that I worry might not see me. But I don't necessarily fault the drivers in this case. I also blame the way the roads are set up.