Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day weekend brings Bombtown an intense Darwin Award competition

 No pedestrians or bicyclists were harmed in the making of this competition, which brings us to the waning days of National Bike Month in Los Alamos, NM.

"In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival.

This Memorial Day's  Darwin Award competition pitted an alleged aerosol can sniffing 22 year old male whose out of mind experience caused him to barrel down a Diamond Drive sidewalk and launch his pickup truck into Pueblo Canyon, vs. an 18 year old woman who said she fell asleep at the wheel up in the Jemez and thereby cyclecrossed her motor vehicle full of people 130 feet into the trees. He was charged with aggravated DWI. She was charged with "aggravated DWI, careless driving, minor in possession of alcohol, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing alcohol to minors". the joys of huffing, where did that damn road go?

It sounds like the driver fell asleep for reasons other than studying for finals. Snorting aerosol cans reminds me of those kids I grew up with who sniffed model airplane glue in paper bags while riding in the back of the school bus. At least those classmates of mine weren't driving.

In other crash and burn reports, a motorcyclist, cited for careless driving, overcooked a curve near the Los Alamos/Sandoval County line; his passenger was airlifted to a specialized care unit, I hope she recovers completely. Yet another motorist crashed on West Jemez when a deer decided to commit suicide by vehicle. Folks, it is well known that we have sharp curves and abundant wildlife. Please drive/ride prudently. Driving, even when you are doing it carefully, entails substantial risks.

Lest I sound too much like the grumpy old geezer that I am, when I was 20, whenever that was, we did pretty stupid things with our motorcycles. Only one of us (who has since gone on to become a well respected custom bicycle designer) lost his license. We never hurt anyone else, although one of our own ended up in the hospital after finding loose gravel on a high speed curve. I still remember that crash and it definitely slowed the rest of us all down. My high school friend Jim was killed when his car was t-boned by a high speed drunk driver. His younger brother Mike was not the same after that. A grad school friend went home one night and found her kid brother being carted off to jail. Driving home from his own birthday party quite shitfaced, he hit and killed a pedestrian. Heck of a way to spend your birthday--in the County B&B awaiting arraignment on a homicide charge.

Crashes are rare enough to put to the back of our minds, especially when we are in a diminished capacity.  When they happen, they are often catastrophic. Its easy to feel invincible until the brown stuff hits the fan, when it is too late for reflection. I hope these two young people either see the light (not the blue flashing ones) or get the full weight of the law on their hides for the sake of the rest of us.

Be careful out there. Maybe Memorial Day weekend was a good time to park the bike and just drink beer in the back yard. Beware of falling trees.

Go see Carol Clark's Daily Post story for full details.

No comments: