Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Enough Tragedy To Go Around

Posted by bsflag2007 on Thursday, March 6, 2008

I love our local police. I love the State troopers I have encountered. When Cpl. Scott Wheeler was killed in the line of duty I teared up while reading about him and his family. Such a sad, sad thing.

I also felt terrible for the young woman who hit and killed him. What a terrible thing to have to live with.

I have not seen any reports or information that she was doing anything out of the ordinary. She wasn’t fleeing arrest, driving impaired. She apparently wasn’t even on the phone. She was just driving down the highway and encountered a “speed trap”. We’ve all seen what happens when drivers realize they are being clocked. Break lights, lane changes, all manner of controlled chaos. Even when I am not speeding I find these situations stressful and dangerous.

Add to that a human being in the travel lanes and that sad, but inevitable, accident that finally occurred irreparably alters dozens of lives. So very sad all around.

On March 5 a grand jury decided not to hand down an indictment for manslaughter. The 24 year old will be fined for traffic citations for negligent driving and speeding.

I do not know how the family or the police feel about this decision. However, I hope they will be o.k. with it.

This young woman’s life is certainly changed. When they release her name and personal information she will probably make some kind of public expression of her endless sorrow and guilt over the event. Time will tell if she devotes her future to traffic safety, police benevolent causes, or just leads a productive and worthy life. Any of those would be preferable to the time and resources all around that would have been spent on a trial and possible incarceration.

This seems to have been a tragic accident that was reasonably foreseeable and heartbreaking all around. I think the correct decision was made here. I hope all the parties will find some comfort in the close of this chapter. I hope the next chapter will bring additional comfort as this young woman goes on to justify this decision with good works and a worthwhile life.

My thoughts are with all those who have been touched by this senseless and tragic accident.

Cindy Vaillancourt

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2 Responses to “Enough Tragedy To Go Around”

  1. Well said.

  2. Cindy, it is a tragic situation and I have a lot of empathy and even sympathy for those truly touched by these events. I can not imagine the pain of living with the knowledge that my actions (whether innocent or careless) led to the death of another person. I have a friend from long ago who had to live with such a tragedy. He struck a man who was drunk and walking down the middle of a dark road. The man he struck died on the scene. My friend was and never will be the same person I used to know. I am not talking about a subtle change in character and outlook. I am talking about a complete and drastic change as if he were a completely different person without any inkling of the person he used to be – it is very sad.

    No one in this situation will ever be the same. I think you do a wonderful job of describing the conflicting emotions those of us furthest away from the circumstances feel about this tragedy.

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