Saturday, May 30, 2009
When bad things happen...
UPDATE: Monday 2:20PM
So the Daily Hampshire Gazette must feel bad about Friday's (below the fold) front page puff piece on the 75-year-old hit and run driver. This morning they published an (above the fold) front page sympathetic piece on 33-year-old cyclist Misty Bassi who was tragically killed on Memorial Day morning, written by Nick Grabbe their most experienced reporter; and the Gazette also did a somber editorial on the "tragedy in Amherst".
Original Post: Saturday morning
Having trained for ten consecutive years to summit Mt. Washington on a bike, I spent a lot of time in the saddle. And over the past 25 years probably cycled up or down University Drive a thousand times.
While 'Swift Way,' the bike path connector to Umass, has only been around since 2002 I have never used it; and not simply because of my prior habit of using the shoulder of the road but because of all the activity on the east side.
The west side has its own access road, so it seems less conjested for cars entering University Drive. But yeah, it can still get hairy with folks coming and going to the Post Office or Big-Y supermarket. On Memorial Day morning I took my two-year-old for a ride on the back of my mountain bike, but fortunately went uptown.
Ten years ago when I was on a training ride near Hadley center a driver backed out of his driveway directly into me. And while he was only going 5 MPH or so and I was doing close to 20 MPH a 4,000-pound car vs. 19-pound bike always results in a TKO'd cyclist.
My business partner said the man called the Athletic Club and was so distraught as to be almost unintelligible. And while I did little damage to his car a fully-grown body cascading over the top of a vehicle is pretty hard to ignore.
But apparently that’s exactly what a 75-year-old Amherst woman did when she left her lane, crossed into the southbound lane of University Drive and hit Misty Bassi, 33, who probably died instantly.
Yesterday the Gazette published an overly sympathetic front-page profile—not of the innocent 33-year-old victim going about her daily routine, but of the woman who ran her down and fled the scene. Although a friend did admit it was a tad out of character considering her Mother Teresa persona.
Yes, we all make mistakes and for most of them folks deserve a second chance. Misty Bassi did not make a mistake; yet she gets no second chance.