Monday, November 20, 2023

There But For Fortune (And a Reminder)


Last night I watched an episode of Kelly Corrigan’s Tell Me More with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeig. One of the topics they touched on was the high number of traffic deaths each year in the US. Their discussion put me in mind of this picture from yesterday’s blogpost. 

Photo by Pamela Ford 

Also yesterday:

Howard County police are investigating a fatal collision overnight in Laurel in which a pedestrian was killed. 

 At approximately 3:22 a.m. on Nov. 19, a 2022 Hyundai Tucson was traveling west on Gorman Road near Murray Hill Road when it struck a pedestrian in the roadway. The pedestrian was then struck a second time by a 2018 Honda Civic that was traveling behind the Hyundai. The pedestrian, a 17-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of both vehicles were uninjured and remained at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. - - Howard County Police Department

I thought of the assembly of mourners in Owen Brown for Mr. Lee, who was 82. I thought of the parents who have now lost a 17 year-old child. And then I read the following comment to the police report.

Whenever I see a story of a pedestrian getting hit by a car at 3am I know the story. Some moron walked out in front of a moving car, one of the few on the road at the time and expected it to stop, it didn't because it cannot see the person and they get hit and killed.

If you see a Pedestrian killed after 2am it's a Darwin Award. 

Wow. When they were giving out empathy and human kindness this guy got skipped over.  He received enough pushback from subsequent commenters that he went back and edited his remarks. (slightly) The essence of his thoughts remain: that this death meant nothing to him other than the opportunity it gave him to take a cheap shot on the internet.

In his interview, Secretary Buttigeig described the growing issue of distracted driving as the cause of increased auto fatalities. Smart phones are a significant contributor. After I read the heartless comment above I thought about how many of us cause harm by distracted living - - so caught up in an online world that we forget there are real humans involved. 

Smart phones are a significant contributor there as well.

The truth is, we don’t know why a seventeen year old was out at that hour or at any time of the day. I would suggest that it isn’t our place to judge. Doing so reflexively smacks of victim shaming. Don’t we have better things to do with our time?


A reminder: tonight at 9 PM on WETA or 8 PM on WETA Metro, the Columbia episode of If You Lived Here.

This episode is one of the last four made with co-host John Begeny before his untimely death this summer. Begeny grew up in Howard County and was a graduate of Mount Hebron High School. His funeral was held at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City.

I’m especially interested to see what aspects of Columbia are highlighted on this episode. I’ll be making one of my “car bingo” game cards in advance to keep track of what I guessed right. Any suggestions on topics that will turn up? So far I have:

  • Rouse
  • Racial/Ethnic Diversity 
  • Pools, Parks, Pathways
  • Street Names
  • Mall
Let me know.

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