|Photo courtesy Facebook, via CTV|
On Tuesday morning, when I read the live, unfolding Twitter feed surrounding Danielle Naçu, a large, heavy weight fell on my chest. Another cyclist involved in a road accident. Another cyclist whose life came to a sudden, tragic end. My hand went to my mouth as the horrific details were tweeted, as pictures of a bent bicycle and shattered helmet on the road next to an automobile were posted.
I'm not saying Danielle didn't know this rule. But just as the driver forgot his rule of looking before opening his door, Danielle forgot her rule about making room, should a car door suddenly open.
Right or wrong, Danielle neglected to take care of her own safety. We all make mistakes; unfortunately, this mistake had fatal consequences.
I'm not letting the driver off the hook. This is a clear case of negligence causing death. Just as sure as the driver would be charged if he ran a red light and struck Danielle, I think the same penalty should apply. He was not in control of his vehicle, and as a result somebody died.
But Danielle should have been more careful too. Had she given a wider birth, she would have made it to work that morning. Blaming only the driver is like Danielle saying "I put my life in your hands and trusted that you wouldn't kill me." As cyclists, we must do everything we can to keep our lives in our own hands.
Because arguing the point later is moot when you're dead.
|My heart goes out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Danielle. It also goes out to the driver who ran over Danielle, and even to the driver of the parked car, who, in one moment of careless negligence, caused so much sorrow.|