The story behind Mill St. bike wreck
August 18, 2008
Since your paper enjoys carte blanche, perhaps you would do me the favor of printing the story concerning the photo on page 3, Tuesday, July 29, by Paul Conrad under the caption “Bad Day For Bicyclists.”
It seems the paper was waiting for a poster boy for not wearing a helmet and, although my husband’s name was not given, many of us know he is that “poster boy.” Not mentioned is the cause of my husband’s accident, which was a skateboard whose owner was not in possession of it when it became an obstacle for my husband’s bike. Unfortunately, my husband does not remember if he hit the skateboard or swerved to miss it. The Aspen police have closed this case and declared it an accident.
An analogy was provided of a torn grocery bag with its contents strewn in the street, which would have been unforeseen and could have caused an unavoidable accident. I was told there was no willfulness or even careless behavior on the part of the skateboarder.
I wonder if a torn bag full of groceries spilled into your path would not be fate or providence. However, an unattended skateboard is negligence, and perhaps a citation was warranted. If that skateboard had not been anywhere near my husband’s bicycle would I be writing this letter? Or if the young man had kept a foot on the board or picked it up to cross busy Mill Street would I be writing this letter? Yes, my husband had an accident, but it definitely could have been avoided. As for helmets and safety equipment, the skateboarder had neither.
I want to thank the many fine professionals who came to my husband’s aid after his bicycle encountered the skateboard on North Mill Street; this would include the Aspen police, Aspen EMS, Aspen Ambulance District, Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, Aspen Fire Rescue and staff of the Aspen Internal Medicine Consultants. It was amazing to see how quickly help came and from all directions, and I apologize if I’ve forgotten anyone who helped.
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Judy L. Buddenbaum
Iowa City, Iowa