This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Those News Stories That Haunt You

I read about this accident yesterday, thinking about how awful it did it happen?

This part of the beltline is not far from my house, so I was curious. But when I read the article, I realized where the fatality came from:

Police: Man fell to death from Beltline after crash ::

And it brought back the memory of another similar fatality. It's one of those news items that generally gets overlooked by the majority...but for me, it hit me hard and whenever I pass that section, I think about the young man who, in 2005, fell to his death at the same section trying to be a good samaritan. And when I think about him and the way he died, it makes my soul fill up with pain -- you know, the way sad news makes the pit of your stomach ache?

In trying to assess this median as I pass it, I realize how misleading this thing can be, especially at night.

View I-440 closed due to wreck in a larger map

First: there are plants/trees/bushes that go down most of the median of the beltline. So for the most part, it can be assumed that this median is completely filled in all the way down. But at night, where both of these fatalities took place -- the latter being 7PM but I noticed it was quite dark at that time -- in all probability, there's no way to see that the darkness below leads to a 70 foot drop vs. a concrete bottom.

You can see this when you zoom in on the map above. You can even place yourself in front of the thing and see that, for the most part, it doesn't look like there is a gap between the two sections of the beltline. One side, the West side, has a fenced overhang over the gap, but the other side does not. I have no idea why someone would jump that fenced barrier but no matter, it doesn't "appear" to be a gap in the road.

It's sad because it is so senseless. Over a stupid design in the road. A random freak accident because, statistically, how many people will actually try to jump over this median? But we now have three (two deaths) on record and I hope that this will be MORE THAN ENOUGH to fix the damn thing and cover it up completely.

1 comment:

  1. JC and I read that news story yesterday and puzzled for the longest time trying to figure out what the heck happened. They didn't explain it very well in the article. We finally figured it out, and like you, thought it was so sad and tragic. :(