Friday, October 23, 2009


While looking for some other information, I happened across this little tidbit on Page 129 of the Boise City Feb-May 2009 Budget Report. (The document - PDF - can be seen HERE.)

It's in the section where ValleyRide's year-to-date results are reported. (ValleyRide being the local public bus transit provider.)

ValleyRide experienced a tragic accident at 12:52pm on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. A ValleyRide driver heading to downtown from the Boise facility struck and injured a bicyclist on Orchard St. (behind the airport). The bicyclist later died from his injuries. At this juncture, the driver is on limited-duty, non-driving work ... At this juncture ValleyRide has provided (at our expense) additional counseling for the employee, four weeks of paid leave (prior to return to non-driving duty) and are working with BPD and officials to provide documentation and support for the investigation.

ValleyRide experienced a tragic accident? Well, lah-dee-dah! I guess at this juncture, we should feel a lot of sympathy for the poor, dear driver, who is obviously under a lot of emotional duress! Who wouldn't be, after drifting out of the traffic lane while adjusting his air conditioner, and plowing dead-on into a bike rider?!! (Since then - and obviously since this budget report was issued - the driver, Michael Perkins, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. I don't know what his employment status is. Jim Chu - the cyclist - is still dead, and his wife, kids, and friends are still missing him.)


Margaret said...

Bikeyboy, I am a VRT employee and
I too, am offended that Jim Chu's death is referred to as an 'accident.' I can tell you this was not in any way representative of the tenor in the office following the crash. Our prayers and thoughts were with Jim Chu and his family. I don't think Bobby realizes how reprehensible and insulting it is to refer to an avoidable death as an accident. Thank you for pointing this out, as I have no problem taking it up with Bobby the next week when I see him.

Bikeboy said...

Hi, Margaret. Your response is much appreciated.

I have a couple friends who drive bus for VRT. (And in fact, I drove Access myself, many years ago when it was Boise Urban Stages. For just a few months... arguably the most enjoyable job I ever had in many ways.) I know you're all about safety. I'm sure Bobby intended no offense, but the tone of that paragraph struck me as so cruelly ironic... sympathy being poured out for the DRIVER!

The guy messed up big time, and frankly it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he were "made an example of." Cyclists in this area are frustrated with a sense that we are second-class citizens. That our lives are of lesser value than the rest of society, in the eyes of the police or prosecutor or whoever it is that arbitrates "street justice."

bob t said...

Isn't accident the correct term unless the driver deliberately (not just negligently) hit Jim Chu?

1 : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance
2 a : an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance b : an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but for which legal relief may be sought

Clancy said...

The whole situation is frustrating. I attribute the VRT synopsis to the same way the media shifts blame in almost every accident related article. How many times have you read "the car drove off the road". The car didn't drive off the road, the driver did.

The Boise Picayune said...

As one of our local tele-attorney firms points out:

"There are no accidents, just bad decisions!"