Jun. 23rd, 2012

lazypadawan: (pic#3355346)
When a few people on Twitter mentioned the sudden death of Galactic Drift's Racheal Ambrose (Stinson) last night, I was shocked. Ambrose contributed to the Fangirl Blog and I'd read some of her posts on her own site.

http://thegalacticdrift.com/2012/06/22/from-racheals-husband-3/

A short news piece on the collision that took her life is here:

http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x1638291967/Failure-to-stop-leads-to-fatal-accident

In the internet world, it's strange to see people Tweeting or posting on Facebook and a short time later, someone jumps in and says, "So-and-so just died." I did not know Ms. Ambrose personally, only on a name/reputation basis. But she is the second person in my online orbit in less than four months who was lost to a car crash (the other person was on a non-fandom LiveJournal community). Or more to the point, a car crash caused by a moron. And I can't just say, "Wow, that's sad" and move on.

You see, in my job I encounter this scenario all too frequently. Someone no different from you and me is just going about his or her life: driving to school, driving home from work, going on a road trip, picking up the kids from soccer practice, etc.. Then along comes some drunk fool or a guy whacked out on coke or some dumb unlicensed teenager barreling down the street 90 mph and smashes into the victim's car, killing that person. Guns are a point of controversy all of the time, but the Department of Motor Vehicles hands out licenses to kill every day.

There are not a lot of details in the news story, but I can tell you that the local authorities will investigate to see if the collision was a mere accident or if there was a level of recklessness/carelessness that merits criminal charges. The hospital should have taken tests to see if there was intoxication. Even if the driver wasn't drunk or high, if he was speeding or just decided to blow through the intersection, he can and likely will be charged with vehicular manslaughter. He is also potentially liable for civil penalties.

I hope not to offend anyone but just as burglars break into your house to steal your laptop, dangerous drivers steal lives. However, unlike a laptop, you can't get a stolen life back or replace it, and it leaves a lot of collateral damage. My sympathies go out to Ms. Ambrose's husband, her family, and her friends. I've seen the pain of the families in their situation. But I also hope for justice. I'm going to try and keep an eye on this case.

Update: Here's the obituary....the funeral was held today 6/25:

http://heraldbulletin.com/obituaries/x439051037/Racheal-E-Stinson

December 2012

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