Rhode Island College is offering counseling to students and flying flags at half-staff as it mourns an English professor who was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Central New York.
Forty-three-year-old Jennifer Cook of Providence was walking with her mother Friday afternoon in Syracuse when the truck veered across the road and struck them.
“Killed by a truck,” “the truck veered across the road and struck them” – No, the “truck” did not kill her, the truck was driven by a person.[alert type=”muted”]See also:
WPRI: Flags at half-staff for RIC professor killed[/alert]
Don’t presuppose. This could be a mechanical failure the driver had nothing to do with.
One never reports that a gun shot and killed someone, one reports that a person shot and killed someone with a gun. One can report that an investigation is on-going to find out if the gun-shot or truck-running-over was in some way accidental, but the truck and the gun are not acting completely on their own volition.
There is another story here, where it is reported that the women were in the road, implying some sort of guilt onto the victims, but the truck’s actions are divorced from the driver, implying benefit of the doubt regarding the driver’s actions. This is how almost all pedestrian crashes are reported.
Even if the truck had a mechanical problem it is the drivers responsibility to keep it safe. In Rhode Island, a year or so ago, pedestrians were killed on the sidewalk when a car had a defect, no charges for motorist. Involuntary manslaughter would seem an appropriate charge in such cases, but the authorities are always lookng for an excuse to allow motorists to kill other roadway users.
What is annoying is that the “complete streets” crowd is only fixated on infrastructure when roads are built or rebuilt, but seem not interested in safety and enforcement on existing roadways.