Crash verdict suspicious

Did Aiken County deliver justice in the 2010 fatal Beech Island bicycle crash?

The driver reportedly tried out several excuses for his “distraction,” finally settling on two that were promptly found “plausible.” A reasonable person might ask which excuses were lies. Just some? All? Then, Solicitor J. Strom Thurmond was amazingly accommodating in accepting a slight variation of the distraction excuses.

No drugs or alcohol involved? Really? How does Thurmond know that? There is no mention or results of a field sobriety test being administered. It is hard to believe the driver did not notice a pack of 20 cyclists ahead – on a straight road, in daylight. Ever seen a pack of cyclists? Always a riot of colors, and in this case it is asserted that some of these cyclists were equipped with blinking red lights.

Is or was the driver’s depth perception impaired? And what were the driver’s whereabouts in the hours preceding the crash? Was the driver in the act of passing the cyclists when he struck them? If so, what was the location of the dent to his vehicle? If not passing the cyclists, why not?

The determined lack of curiosity on the part of local media is very disappointing. The account and the outcome of this crash do not even remotely pass the smell test. Based on published accounts, substandard investigative reporting likely contributed to the ridiculously light sentence. And what message does the sentence send to drivers in the CSRA?

Ed Trottier

Aiken, S.C.

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