I often complain about the lack of information about bicycle collisions.
Usually, we’re lucky if the story merits a few paragraph’s in the paper. A bare description that a motor vehicle hit a cyclist, or the other way around; maybe the name of the victim and the driver. Sometimes not even that.
Then there are times when the press does its job, and we learn about the victim and the driver.
Too often, it just makes the whole story that much more tragic.
That’s what happened today in the sad, infuriating case of a San Diego cyclist killed when the driver of a street sweeper fell asleep behind the wheel last Friday.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim, Suntat Peverley, was a lab tech who had worked for UCSD Medical Center for the past 10 years. A popular lead phlebotomist with the Internal Medicine Group, he leaves behind a wife and two children.
Meanwhile, 77-year old Fred Franklin Fuller wasn’t just the driver of the street sweeper, he also owned the company. After sweeping parking lots for 33 years, he’d turned the business over to his son, but started driving again after his son died just three weeks ago. Tragically, Fuller’s wife also died about the same time.
Not surprisingly, he told police investigators that he hadn’t been sleeping well lately.
Fuller shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. Not at his age. Not in his physical condition. Not in his emotional state, after suffering two tragic loses so recently.
Maybe he thought working would ease the pain and give him something to do; maybe he felt like he didn’t have any choice.
There seems to be no question that he was at fault. The only question is what the consequences will be, whether he’ll be charged, and if he will be able to live with what he’s done after suffering so much tragedy already.
We know what the consequences were for Peverley. His wife will have to go on without the love and support of her husband. His children will grow up without a father.
This whole case is just too heartbreaking for words.
Sometimes, I really wish I didn’t know the details.