An Open Letter to Local Media: Eckstein Was No Accident

The tragic collision that took the lives of two members of our community and injured two others shook us to our core. The lives of three generations of one family were irrevocably, horribly altered. An entire community is in mourning. The news media has often labelled this incident as an "accident," an oft-used but imprecise word that unintentionally adds insult to the injury that our community has already endured. This was a collision, with actors, causality and agency; it was a collision that we can learn from and prevent.

Pedestrian Injuries at Impact Speeds (via The Greater Marin)

While we all reach to assign blame, its important to remember our own role in this tragedy. We know that speed kills no matter who is at the wheel, yet part of the sad truth is that we too often prioritize the quick movement of vehicles over the safe movement of citizens. Over-wide roadways, excessive in-city speeds, community resistance to common-sense safety improvements and the media's repetition of an ideologically-driven "war on cars" narrative: these all indict a system that failed the Ulriksen-Schulte family and thousands like them every year.

Words matter and we hope that in editorial rooms around the Sound they are reconsidering the use of accident in describing these preventable tragedies.