There was a bad accident in my town, where a little girl on her bicycle tangled with an SUV. The girl was dragged by vehicle for a short way, and the driver of the SUV (a woman in her 20’s) drove off.
Outrage ensued. News of the accident spread on social media, and you coulda made a fortune selling pitchforks and torches to my neighbors. They were absolutely CERTAIN that the drive was at fault, caller her “disgusting” and all manner of other names.
My friend John Corriea has a rule that he will not comment on a mass shooting or similar event until 72 hours has past, and we have more information. Why? Because the first information we get on any incident is usually wildly off-base.
Based on preliminary investigation at the scene, the responding deputy issued notices to appear to (Name Of Driver) for leaving the scene of a crash and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. The investigation was then turned over to CCSO’s Safety & Traffic Enforcement Bureau. The facts of the case including evidence and witness sworn testimony ultimately determined that (Name Of Driver) did stop as close to the crash as possible once she realized she and the bicycle had collided, she did provide identifying information to dispatchers and deputies, and she did return to the scene within minutes. The facts also determined that (Name Of Driver) had no time to yield or react because the bicycle rode into the front right wheel well when the vehicle was already traveling through the crosswalk. As a result, both notices to appear were dismissed.
Well that kinda steps on the narrative, doesn’t it? Not only did the driver of the SUV not leave the accident, it turns out the girl on the bike ran into her car, not the other way around.
Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s awful that this little girl had to go through this. I watched as one of my sons assumed that another car would stop in a crosswalk for him (it didn’t) and he was lifted up onto the hood of car and onto the street. Fortunately for him, all that happened were some bruises and a ruined bicycle, but ultimately, the fault lay with my son assuming that someone would see him approach the crosswalk and act appropriately. And he paid a price for his false assumption about how the world works.
If we assume that everyone in the world acts to any given situation just like we do, we set ourselves up for world of hurt. There are people out there who see us not as fellow human beings, but as sheep to be shorn sheep to be shorn. We ignore them at our own peril.