From the San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 8:

Man who sought safe streets killed in S.F. crash
A wheelchair-using San Francisco man who fought for safe streets for the disabled is being mourned this week by friends and family after he was fatally struck by a car in one of the city's most dangerous intersections.

Kenneth "Bryan" Goodwin, 31, who faced struggles as a 3-foot-tall man but rarely let it show, was headed home from a friend's house early Monday morning when he was hit by a driver at Market Street and Octavia Boulevard

Police are investigating the collision, which happened just after midnight, but have not detailed what happened.

As a memorial of flowers marked the crash site, many who knew Goodwin – and some who didn't – recalled him as small man with a big and infectious enthusiasm.

"He was a noticeable guy because he didn't look like anyone else," said friend and attorney Nance Becker. "The fact is he could have had a very narrow life, but through his intelligence and personality, he had a fuller life."

She added: "After all he had been through, to get hit by a car, it's crazy."

Goodwin, who had a congenital bone disorder known as osteogenesis imperfecta, worked as a legal clerk for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where everyone in the 900-person San Francisco office knew him, colleagues said.

"It was hard not to know Bryan," said the EPA's regional administrator, Jared Blumenfeld. "He was a very large character. He was some of the glue that held us together."


The intersection of Market and Octavia was the scene of 30 collisions between 2009 and 2011, city records show. That's more than any other place in San Francisco.

The chief problem is motorists driving east on Market, making illegal right turns onto the Highway 101 onramp, and hitting bicyclists or pedestrians. Three days before the crash that killed Goodwin, the city began camera enforcement at the intersection to catch drivers making the turns.

It's unclear whether the surveillance camera filmed Monday's incident, and police have not said whether Goodwin was struck by a car making an illegal turn, though investigators did speak with the driver after the collision.

Shades of the late Harry Weider in New York… When will it be understood that these are political martyrs, not "accident victims"? They are casualties in a war for public space.

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    From The Blaze, ironically a right-wing source: 


    A Tennessee father was arrested for disorderly conduct last week after objecting to an official school policy that apparently prohibited him from picking up his children on foot ahead of the majority of parents picking their children up in their cars.
    The new student pick-up policy, which reportedly started last week, says that parents can only pick up their children after 2 p.m. by waiting in a line of cars until everyone is released at 2:35 p.m. In this particular case, the parent was walking, so it wouldn’t make much sense to wait in the line of cars.
    As Jim Howe made his case to South Cumberland Elementary School Resource Officer Avery Aytes, the man’s fiancé recorded the entire exchange. In the roughly 6 minute discussion captured on video, Howe does not appear to seriously raise his voice or make any threatening gestures. It should be noted that there could be more to the video, however, the moment that Aytes arrests Howe appears to be shown in full context.
    Poor grammar in original.

    The too-rich-to-know-better defense. I can't wait to the see the too-poor-to-know-better defense. I think I'll be waiting a long time for that one. From WFAA in Dalas, Dec. 10:

    Outrage follows probation for teen who killed four in crash

    FORT WORTH — A juvenile court judge sentenced 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years' probation Tuesday for the drunken driving crash that killed four people.
    Judge Jean Boyd could have sentenced Couch to 20 years behind bars…
    Boyd told the teen that he is responsible for what happened, but she didn't believe he would receive the necessary therapy in jail.
    Loved ones of victims left through a back door. They had spent the afternoon speaking directly to Couch about how the crash changed their lives. They wanted him to serve some jail time.

    The widow of one of the victims looked at the defendant and said, "Ethan, we forgive you."

    Up to her to forgive the punk, but I will never forgive the judge. As usual, the most incriminating passage is buried deep in the story. Here it is…

    Prior to sentencing, a psychologist called by the defense, Dr. G. Dick Miller,  testified that Couch's life could be salvaged with one to two years' treatment and no contact with his parents.
    Investigators said Couch was driving a pickup truck between 68 and 70 miles-per-hour in a 40 mph zone. The four who died were standing on the side of the road outside their vehicle. Nine others were hurt.
    Miller said Couch's parents gave him "freedoms no young person should have." He called Couch a product of "affluenza," where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.
    He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example,  Miller said Couch's parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed, 14-year-old girl.
    Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at age 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy.
    At the time of the fatal wreck, Couch had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, three times the legal limit of .08 for an adult.
    It is illegal for a minor to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.
    But he gets off free, on the logic that he is a privileged brat.



    From Reuters, April 11:

    Ten people died, many of them high school students, when a truck slammed into a tour bus with college hopefuls heading to a campus tour in northern California on Thursday, police said.

    Five students, three chaperones and the drivers of bus [sic] and FedEx truck were killed, according to the California Highway Patrol and Humboldt State University, which was to host the students' visit.

  4. No anti-car backlash after Isla Vista kill-spree

    Note that Elliot Rodger employed his BMW as a weapon in his notorious kill-spree, using it to leave as many as 10 wounded, according to Wikipedia. Yet since the horrific attacks, we have seen the requisite calls for gun control and inevitable demonization of the "mentally ill" (sic). Yet no calls for background checks for driver's licenses, or (better yet) banning cars.

    Did you ever ask yourself—Why is that?

  5. Therapeutic police state measures in wake of Isla Vista

    Here we go. The inevitable federal legislation expanding involuntary "treatment" (sic) of the "mentally ill" (sic) in the wake of Isla Vista. Explicitly presented as instead of gun control measures, which are politically infeasible. Spare us all your bogus talk about "freedom," gun-fetishists. Ugly details at Yahoo News, NPR.


    One person is dead after a tractor-trailer barreled into Simeon's restaurant in an historic building in downtown Ithaca, NY. Seven were hospitalized and the facade of the building had to be demolished. (Ithaca Voice, June 20)


    From NBC Philadelphia, Aug. 28:

    Woman Found Dead in SUV Parked Outside New Jersey Wawa Was Trying to Rest: Police

    A New Jersey woman struggling to make ends meet died in a sports utility vehicle parked outside a New Jersey Wawa store. Police said it appeared Maria Fernandes of Newark was trying to nap in her SUV parked at a Wawa convenience store parking lot on Spring Street in Elizabeth.

    Lt. Daniel Saulnier tells The Star-Ledger of Newark that she sounded like someone who tried her best to earn a living. The paper reported that she had four jobs. "This sounds like someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet, and met with a tragic accident," Saulnier told the paper.

    Elizabeth police say it appears a deadly mixture of carbon monoxide and fumes from an overturned gasoline container overcame Fernandes. The 32-year-old was found dead inside her 2001 Kia Sportage around 4 p.m. Monday.

    Police said Fernandes worked at several Dunkin Donuts stores in the area and it wasn't unusual for her to park in a public access parking lot in between jobs to get a few hours of sleep. She was scheduled to lend her SUV to a friend two hours after she parked her vehicle in the lot that afternoon, police said.

    Workers at the Wawa store became concerned when they saw Fernandes in her car and called 911. 


    This is the great cause of the new Sagebrush Rebellion… The right to hold an all-terrain vehicle rally through a canyon with ancient Pueblo Indian sites. Five are being charged by federal authorities for doing exactly that at Utah's Recapture Canyon. The Bureau of Land Management closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to keep wheels off its many archaeological sites. But some 50 riders motored into the canyon in a May 10 rally, waving "Don't Tread on Me" flags and denouncing federal "overreach." The Salt Lake Tribune reports that one of the defendants is Jay Redd, son of the late James Redd, who took his life five years ago after his arrest in an BLM investigation into artifacts trafficking.

    File under "Ugly Americanism."

  9. KPFA radio producer killed in hit-and-run

    From NBC Bay Area, April 20:

    Police have identified the victim of a deadly hit-and-run in Oakland as a long-time Bay Area radio host. Wesley Burton died Saturday morning driving home after hosting Sideshow Radio, a late-night hip-hop show on KPFA.
    Police said it happened just after 2 AM when a Dodge Charger was speeding down 60th Street and slammed into a car on Martin Luther King Way, killing Burton. Officers are asking for the public's help in finding the driver.


    An argument over a restaurant parking spot may have ignited the horrific shootout between rival motorcycle gangs that killed nine, wounded 18 and led to the arrests of 170 bikers, according to police in Waco, Tex. (Dallas Morning News, May 18)

  11. Murder charges in Oklahoma car-nage

    This CNN account uses the bogus word "crash," but how amazing that the motorist was actually charged…

    The woman accused of driving under the influence and plowing her car into a crowd of spectators at an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade also faces murder charges, police said Sunday.

    Adacia Chambers is being held in jail on four counts of second-degree murder for Saturday's deadly crash, which killed four people and injured dozens more. If convicted, she could face life in prison, police said.


    From the San Francisco Chrionicle, Feb. 11:

    Woman in wheelchair fatally hit by car remembered for independence
    The 38-year-old Berkeley woman who died over the weekend after a city of San Francisco vehicle crashed into her wheelchair as she crossed a street was a public employee and leader in the disabled community, family and colleagues said Tuesday.

    Thu Phan, a UC Berkeley alumna and Department of Labor employee, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly known as brittle-bone disease. On her way to work Friday morning, while operating her electric wheelchair, Phan was hit by a worker on official business for the city Department of Public Health in the intersection of Market and Seventh streets.

    "The phone rang, and that was normal and that’s what I expected," said her fiance, Brad Trippe, who spoke with Phan half a dozen times every day. "I said, 'Hi, sweetie,' and it was this man’s voice, and I immediately got this feeling of dread."

    For the first five hours after the collision, Phan was lucid, Trippe said, but doctors soon realized she had sustained head trauma, and her condition deteriorated. A surgery attempt was not successful, and she died Saturday surrounded by dozens of family members and friends, who spilled into the San Francisco General Hospital waiting room and corridors.

    Police said at the scene and continued to say Tuesday that although she was knocked to the ground by the collision, her injuries did not appear life threatening. The driver — who cooperated during the investigation — was making a left turn from Seventh onto Market, which was a legal move because of the car’s exempt license plate, according to Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman.

    "That area of downtown is kind of confused from a traffic standpoint, so you take your life in your hands crossing the street," said John Parman, an acquaintance of Phan, adding that her death should have never happened.

    The oldest of six siblings, Phan emigrated at age 2 as a refugee from Vietnam with her parents, who wanted to give her more opportunities in the United States because of her bone condition. The family eventually settled in Stockton, where Phan and her younger brothers and sisters were raised.

    "Exempt license plate"? How many times do we have to say it? License to kill.


    From Live Trucking, Feb. 13:

    Interstate 78 To Be Closed Through The Night Due To Fatal Pileup
    A massive pileup, involving at least 50 vehicles, took place on Saturday afternoon on Interstate 78 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.

    More than 40 people were taken to the hospital, and at least three people died in the crash.

    As a result, I-78 between Interstate 81 and Exit 13 (PA 501/Bethel) are closed in both directions. Officials expect the closure to last through the night.

    A local spoke to CBS News in Harrisburg and said "It sounded like two bombs went off."

    The crash was blamed on strong winds and snowy roadways.